You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Pentagon chief Austin to visit Israel, Germany, Britain

AFP logo AFP 4/8/2021 AFP
Lloyd Austin wearing a suit and tie: US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will visit Israel, Germany, Belgium and Britain © Money SHARMA US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will visit Israel, Germany, Belgium and Britain

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will travel to Israel, Germany, Britain and the NATO headquarters in Belgium in the coming week for talks with government and military leaders, the Pentagon announced Thursday.

The highest ranked official of the administration of President Joe Biden to visit Israel, Austin will meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz, where discussions will cover "shared priorities" and reaffirm Washington's commitment to Israel maintaining military superiority over its neighbors, according to a Pentagon statement.

In Europe, he will hold talks with German defense minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and Chancellery Foreign and Security Policy Advisor Dr. Jan Hecker, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and British defense minister Ben Wallace.

Austin will leave Washington on Saturday, but the dates for his stops in each country were not given.

The trip coincides with rising tensions between Israel and Iran just as the Biden administration tries to engage Tehran over returning to the nuclear pact effectively torn up by former president Donald Trump.

In Europe it comes as Russia has sent shivers across the continent with the massing of a troops and war equipment along its border with Ukraine.

"Russia now has more troops on the border of Ukraine than at any time since 2014," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday, saying Biden was "increasingly concerned."




image beaconimage beaconimage beacon