US defence secretary denies Israeli espionage operations

A recent Newsweek report quoted anonymous U.S. officials who spoke of major Israeli espionage operations in the U.S.

US defence secretary denies Israeli espionage operations

World Bulletin / News Desk

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Thursday said in Tel Aviv that he was "not aware" of any facts that might prove that Israel has been spying on the U.S. following a controversial report by leading U.S. magazine Newsweek, the Israeli media has reported.

"I have heard of the report," Hagel told reporters at a joint press conference with Israeli counterpart Moshe Yaalon, according to Israeli daily Yadiot Ahronot.

"I'm not aware of any facts that would substantiate the report," Hagel added.

The recent Newsweek report quoted anonymous U.S. officials who spoke of major Israeli espionage operations in the U.S.

Tel Aviv, for its part, was quick to denounce the report, which Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman described as a "malicious calumny."

Hagel arrived in Israel on Wednesday for his third tour of the Middle East since his appointment in 2013.

Along with Yaalon, Hagel had been scheduled to meet with Israeli President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for talks on regional security and bilateral relations, according to the U.S. Defense Department.

Hagel's talks in Israel will also focus on U.S.-Israeli cooperation in the field of missile defense.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 16 Mayıs 2014, 10:00
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