United States and Israel closer to finalizing military aid agreement

Israel’s National Security Council delegation is set to finish negotiations on the United States military aid package for Israel.

The delegation arrived in Washington on Monday and is expected to finish talks and terms for Israel’s defense aid package to begin in 2018. Head of the delegation Jacob Nagel met with several officials in Washington, including U.S. national security advisor Susan Rice. According to an Israeli official cited by Reuters, “We’ve made progress and closed many of the remaining gaps. We hope soon to be able to reach final agreement.”

The current aid agreement for Israel is set to expire in 2018, negotiations for a renewed memorandum of understanding currently underway. The defense aid package will reportedly include $3.5 billion annually, the agreement, as with previous defense agreements, set for decade.

The current memorandum provides $3.1 billion in aid. The new defense aid package will include US Congress approved anti-missile defense funding in the designated decade agreement.

Last week, the Prime Minister’s Office stated that Israel it is “not in Israel’s interest for there to be any changes to the fixed annual MOU [memorandum of understanding] levels without the agreement of both the US administration and the Israeli government.”

This article originally appeared on Behold Israel, August 4, 2016, and reposted with permission.