WASHINGTON: On Tuesday, senior U.S. and Israeli civilian and military officials convened in person and via videoconference the bilateral Joint Political-Military Group (JPMG).
According to the official press release of U.S State Department, they welcomed the latest round of discussions as a reflection of the commitment by the United States and Israel to promote shared policies, address common threats and concerns, and identify new areas for security cooperation.
The JPMG is rooted in the knowledge a strong and secure Israel – and an Israel at peace with its neighbors – is critical to the United States’ strategic interests, the spokesperson mentioned.
Since its inception in 1983 when President Reagan and Prime Minister Shamir announced the formation of the JPMG, the forum continues to play a vital role in strengthening security ties between our two countries, the statement cited.
The spokesperson also mentioned that the JPMG reflects the United States’ enduring commitment to preserving Israel’s security.
For more than three decades, the cornerstone of our security partnership has been an assurance the United States would help Israel maintain its qualitative military edge (QME) – a commitment enshrined in U.S. law since 2008, the statement added.
The official spokesperson also underlined that the primary tool the United States employs to ensure Israel’s QME is security assistance, in particular the Foreign Military Financing (FMF) program.
Under our current 10-year Memorandum of Understanding for FMF, Israel is the world’s single-largest recipient of U.S. security assistance, spokesperson said.
He also mentioned that our governments also cooperate closely through joint military exercises, military research, and weapons development.
Notably, the United States and Israel maintain unique and robust cooperation on ballistic missile defense, resulting in development of unparalleled capabilities, protecting both Israeli and American service members and citizens, the spokesperson added.
The spokesperson stated that in light of the increasing security threats in the Middle East owing to Iranian production and proliferation of advanced weapon systems, such as cruise missiles, unmanned aerial systems, as well as ballistic missiles, both governments highlighted the mutual need to enhance cooperation to counter such threats and promote an integrated air and missile defense concept of operation.
He also underscored that today’s JPMG reaffirmed the ironclad strategic partnership between the United States and Israel, underscoring a mutual commitment to advance collaboration in support of regional security and reinforce the historic achievements of the transformative Abraham Accords.