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Israeli defense minister warmly welcomes US Pentagon chief Carter

  • U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter walks with William Grant, U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission, left, and members of his security detail, as he arrives at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel, Sunday, July 19, 2015. Carter has traveled to Israel to talk with officials there as well as Jordan and Saudi Arabia, U.S. allies whose leaders also are worried about the Iran nuclear deal's implications. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, Pool)

    U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter walks with William Grant, U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission, left, and members of his security detail, as he arrives at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel, Sunday, July 19, 2015. Carter has traveled to Israel to talk with officials there as well as Jordan and Saudi Arabia, U.S. allies whose leaders also are worried about the Iran nuclear deal's implications. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • From left, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) 91st Division Commander Moni Katz, directing his right arm foward, from left, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Deputy Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Yair Golan pause as they walk from viewing Hula Valley from the Hussein Lookout, behind them, near Kiryat Shmona, Israel, Monday, July 20, 2015, in northern Israel along the boarder with Lebanon. Carter said he has no expectation of persuading Israeli leaders to drop their opposition to the Iran nuclear deal, but will instead emphasize that the accord imposes no limits on what Washington can do to ensure the security of Israel and U.S. Arab allies. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, Pool)

    From left, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) 91st Division Commander Moni Katz, directing his right arm foward, from left, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Deputy Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Yair Golan pause as they walk from viewing Hula Valley from the Hussein Lookout, behind them, near Kiryat Shmona, Israel, Monday, July 20, 2015, in northern Israel along the boarder with Lebanon. Carter said he has no expectation of persuading Israeli leaders to drop their opposition to the Iran nuclear deal, but will instead emphasize that the accord imposes no limits on what Washington can do to ensure the security of Israel and U.S. Arab allies. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, center, and Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon arrive with Israel Defense Forces (IDF) 91st Division Commander Moni Katz, right, to view the Hula Valley from the Hussein Lookout near Kiryat Shmona, Israel, Monday, July 20, 2015, in norther Israel along the boarder with Lebanon.  Carter said he has no expectation of persuading Israeli leaders to drop their opposition to the Iran nuclear deal, but will instead emphasize that the accord imposes no limits on what Washington can do to ensure the security of Israel and U.S. Arab allies. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, Pool)

    U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, center, and Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon arrive with Israel Defense Forces (IDF) 91st Division Commander Moni Katz, right, to view the Hula Valley from the Hussein Lookout near Kiryat Shmona, Israel, Monday, July 20, 2015, in norther Israel along the boarder with Lebanon. Carter said he has no expectation of persuading Israeli leaders to drop their opposition to the Iran nuclear deal, but will instead emphasize that the accord imposes no limits on what Washington can do to ensure the security of Israel and U.S. Arab allies. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter is being warmly welcomed by his Israeli counterpart on the first Cabinet-level U.S. visit to the Jewish state since the Iran nuclear deal was announced.

The Pentagon chief met at Israel's defense headquarters Monday with Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon and on Tuesday is to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has strongly criticized the Iran deal.

Yaalon thanked Carter for his contributions to Israeli security and said Israel appreciates its friendship with the U.S.

The Israeli defense forces held a standard welcoming ceremony for Carter and he then went into a closed meeting with Yaalon.