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Dempsey Arrives in Israel, First Stop on Middle East Trip

By Karen Parrish
TEL AVIV, Israel — Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrived here today on the first stop of a trip that will also take him to Jordan. 

Dempsey will meet with senior Israeli government and defense leaders during his stay, according to senior defense officials. The main purpose of the general’s visit here is to engage with allies and affirm partnership with Israel and Jordan, officials said. 

Announcing the trip last week, a senior official said that while here, the chairman expects to discuss the unwavering U.S. commitment to Israel's security, in addition to potential threats from Iran, the ongoing civil war in Syria and uncertainty in the Sinai. 

In Jordan, Dempsey plans to visit U.S. troops and to gain a richer understanding of how the conflict in Syria is affecting Jordan and the region the official added. 

The chairman last visited Israel in October, and his last trip to Jordan was in April 2012.