(Communicated by the Bureau of Deputy Foreign Minister Ayalon)
The following statement is issued by Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg:
"Israeli and U.S. delegations, headed by Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg, met today in Jerusalem to continue the semi-annual U.S.-Israel Strategic Dialogue. The Strategic Dialogue affords the United States and Israel the opportunity to discuss and exchange perspectives at a senior level on a variety of issues, and to apply those insights to current challenges.
The United States and Israel are committed to working together to enhance regional security and stability – which is even more crucial as we support and encourage the democratic changes across the Middle East. Our discussions helped identify challenges and opportunities to improve our already strong cooperation in this regard for the benefit of all in the region. The United States and Israel also reemphasized their commitment to the pursuit of lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians, and between Israel and all of its neighbors.
While focusing on rapid changes in the region, the United States and Israel remain cognizant of one of the greatest challenges we face today in the Middle East. Iran’s continued noncompliance with its international obligations related to its nuclear program, as well as its continued support for terrorist entities, are of grave concern to our two countries and the entire international community. Continued efforts by the international community to address Iran’s actions through both pressure and engagement are critical to changing Iran’s strategic calculus and preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability.
We look forward to continuing the Strategic Dialogue later this year in Washington as an important forum to discuss the issues facing the United States, Israel, and the region."