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BBC News Doubts fail to dent confidence
The new United States Defence Secretary, Chuck Hagel, has arrived for his first official trip to Israel, not long after the newly-appointed Secretary of State, John Kerry, last flew out.
During his lengthy nomination process in Washington, Mr Hagel was forced to counter allegations that he did not feel quite the degree of enthusiasm for Israel which is part of the job description for senior American cabinet ministers these days.
Even so when you compare the diplomatic tasks facing President Obama's two point men on foreign policy, it is Mr Hagel who has the easier task here.
To John Kerry, after all, falls the task of breathing life into the moribund peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.
Mr Hagel merely has to demonstrate that security and intelligence cooperation between Israel and the US remains as tight, or tighter, than ever.
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