The United States and Israel are close to finalizing a new 10-year military aid package, a senior Israeli official said amid a visit to the U.S. by Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, according to reports.
According to the unnamed official, Israel wants to reach the deal as soon as possible, but an announcement will not be coming in the next few days because there are a number of outstanding issues to resolve. Additionally, the official denied claims that Israel is slowing down the talks and considering not reaching the agreement until the next U.S. president takes office in 2017.
The U.S. and Israel have been negotiating a new military aid package to replace the existing package of $3.1 billion in annual aid that is set to expire in 2018. Israel has reportedly asked for up to $4 billion per year in the new package.
Lieberman, meanwhile, met with U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter during the Israeli minister’s first visit to America since becoming defense minister in late May. Lieberman’s spokesperson said the defense ministers discussed “global terror, developments in various arenas in the Middle East, and a series of issues related to relations between the two countries.”