Washington: US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has met his Israeli counterpart Ehud Barak to discuss a wide range of bilateral and regional issues including Syria, Iran and Gaza.

"The secretary and Barak discussed a range of issues and expressed their commitment to ensuring continued cooperation on many important regional issues -- particularly Syria, Iran, and Gaza," Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said after the meeting between the two leaders on Wednesday.

During the meeting, Panetta reiterated the strong US commitment to Israel's security and the strong US-Israel defense relationship.

"The secretary commended Minister Barak on his tireless efforts in advancing the US-Israel strategic relationship," Little said.

"Secretary Panetta thanked Minister Barak for his friendship and his continued commitment to the relationship," he said.

This is for the eleventh time that the two have met since Panetta took office.


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