US Military Chief in Israel for Talks

Posted January 20th, 2012 at 6:20 am (UTC-5)
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The top U.S. military official is in Israel Friday for a short visit to discuss a disagreement over how to handle Iran's nuclear program, which both countries fear is being used to develop nuclear weapons.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army General Martin Dempsey, was to meet Friday with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres, as well as the defense minister and military chief .

Official information on the content of the meetings was sparse, but Israeli media report that the U.S. officials are expected to urge Israel not to make a pre-emptive military strike on Iran. Israel has not ruled the option out, and the U.S. favors stronger sanctions on the nation instead.

The U.S. has been trying to gather more international support for the sanctions and says a military strike could further destabilize the Middle East.