US, Israel hold first foreign policy dialogue

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Washington, Feb 13 (IANS) The US and Israel held their first foreign policy dialogue here to discuss regional and global issues of mutual interest, the State Department said in a statement.

The dialogue on Monday touched upon opportunities for cooperation in Africa on development, economics, and counterterrorism; ways to advance shared interests in the Asia Pacific region; and efforts to advance shared approaches to regional engagement in the Americas in collaboration with the Organisation of American States, the statement said.

It also focused on digital diplomacy and recent developments in research and social media technology, reports Xinhua news agency.

The gathering was co-chaired by US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon and Yuval Rotem, director general of the Israeli Foreign Ministry.

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Both sides expressed their interest in continuing the dialogue on a regular basis in Washington and Jerusalem.

Earlier on Monday, the State Department announced that it would provide $3.3 billion in military aid for Israel in its fiscal year 2019 budget proposal.

It noted that Washington was also “prioritizing funding for a US embassy facility in Jerusalem which will begin once design and construction plans are finalised”.

–IANS

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