US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin will visit Israel, Germany, the United Kingdom and NATO Headquarters in Belgium in the coming days to meet with government and military leaders, announced Thursday (April 8). Pentagon.
The highest ranking official in Democratic President Joe Biden’s administration to travel to Israel, Lloyd Austin will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz to discuss “Common priorities” and reaffirm Washington’s commitment to Israel retaining its military superiority over its neighbors, according to a statement. In Europe, he will meet with German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and British Defense Minister Ben Wallace. Lloyd Austin will be leaving Washington on Saturday, but a schedule for his route has not been detailed.
The announcement of the trip comes amid growing tensions between Israel and Iran, as Joe Biden’s administration tries to bring Tehran back into the nuclear pact dismantled by Donald Trump. And in Europe, Russia is accused of massing its troops on the border with Ukraine. There have never been so many Russian troops on the Ukrainian border since 2014, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Thursday, saying Joe Biden was increasingly “concerned”.