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British armed forces chief visits Israel

The Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir Nick Carter arrived in Israel on Sunday for a series of meetings with Israeli generals.

General Carter met with Israel Defence Force (IDF) Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Aviv Kochavi on Sunday at the IDF’s headquarters in Tel Aviv, where he was greeted by a guard of honour. He also visited the Holocaust remembrance centre at Yad Vashem and laid a wreath in the hall of remembrance.

During his visit, General Carter met with the head of Israeli military intelligence, Major General Tamir Heyman and visited the Israel-Lebanon border where he was briefed by the commander of the IDF’s 91st Division, Brigadier General Raffi Milo, about the operation to uncover and disable Hezbollah tunnels into Israeli territory.

While in the north of Israel, General Carter took part in a ceremony at the Ramat David Air Force base to celebrate Israeli-British military cooperation. Carter also visited a memorial at the air base dedicated to Jewish parachutists who served in the British army and were trained there during the Second World War.

The spokesman for the Israel Defence Forces said the visit: “Emphasises the developing qualitative engagement between the IDF and the British military.”

Israel’s Ambassador to the UK, Mark Regev, wrote on Twitter: “Great to see Ministry of Defence Chief of Defence Staff Gen Sir Nick Carter visiting Israel. This important security cooperation is making our nations stronger and our peoples safer.”

Israel and the UK have a close defence and intelligence partnership. General Carter’s predecessor, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach visited Israel in November 2017. Later that year the flagship helicopter carrier HMS Ocean docked in Haifa port for search and rescue exercises with the Israeli armed forces. In September, the Israeli Air Force will take part in the Royal Air Force annual Cobra Warrior exercise at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire.

Last year, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson described the “amazing relationship” with Israel, which he called a “beacon of light” in the Middle East.