Joint Statement by the 48th Joint US-Israeli Political-Military Group

Today in Washington, DC, senior US and Israeli civilian and military officials convened the first in-person bilateral Joint Political-Military Group (JMPG) since the onset of the COVID pandemic. Both the United States and Israel recognize that the world stands at an inflection point in history – not only in the Middle East region, where Israel is experiencing unprecedented progress in its relations with its regional partners, but also as the world comes together to support Ukraine, as it defends its sovereignty and territorial integrity. Today’s dialogue provided an opportunity to discuss issues of mutual interest and explore mutually beneficial opportunities, while supporting the United States’ continued commitment to Israel’s security, including its commitment to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and to support Israel’s capabilities to deal with any current situation and future threat.

Derek Chollet, adviser to the US State Department, alongside senior officials from the Offices of Politico-Military Affairs and Near East Affairs, the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy and the Agency for Environmental Cooperation of Security and Defence, hosted the Israeli delegation led by the Director General of the Israeli Ministry of Defense, Major General (Retired) Amir Eshel. Director General Eshel was accompanied by the Director of the Political and Politico-Military Division, the Israeli Ambassador to the United States, the Deputy Director General for Strategic Affairs in the Foreign Ministry and senior officials from the Israeli Ministry of the defense.

Serving as the State Department’s primary political-military and security dialogue with Israel, today’s engagement provided an opportunity for the two delegations to discuss enhanced security cooperation in the context of changing regional and global dynamics to enhance regional stability. Both delegations recognized the increasing level of violence in the West Bank and underlined the importance of de-escalation in mitigating conflicts and easing tensions, alongside the determined fight against terrorism.

This year’s JPMG focused on emerging opportunities for bilateral and multilateral cooperation and U.S. support for building Israeli forces to address common regional concerns, the impacts of regional and global strategic competition, the export of defense and other foreign policy considerations. Both Director General Eshel and Advisor Chollet highlighted the unprecedented cooperation between the United States and Israel, reaffirming the rock-solid strategic partnership between our two countries. They also focused on cooperation against Iranian nuclear and regional threats, the opportunities created by the Abraham Accords, and the evolving cooperation between the Israel Defense Forces and the Ministry of Defense, the leading US Central Command. the operational expansion of military cooperation. Advisor Chollet and Director General Eshel confirmed the joint commitment of a credible military threat to deter Iran. Director General Eshel expressed his gratitude for the unwavering support and partnership of the US government in ensuring Israel’s qualitative military advantage.

For nearly four decades, since its inception in 1983, when President Reagan and Prime Minister Shamir announced the formation of JPMG, this forum has played a crucial role in strengthening security ties between our two countries. The JPMG reflects the United States’ unwavering commitment to Israel’s security, including support for Israel’s ability to maintain a qualitative military edge in conventional military capability. The United States is committed to Israel’s security; the 2016 memorandum of understanding on security assistance to Israel, the largest U.S. security assistance commitment in history, is a demonstration of those ironclad commitments.