Israel attaches great value to its ties with the United States, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said Tuesday in the wake of media reports that revealed scathing remarks he allegedly made regarding U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's peacemaking efforts, Xinhua reported.
"The relationship between Israel and the U.S. is intimate and of great significance to us. The U.S. is our greatest friend and most important ally, and when divisions emerge we work them out behind closed doors," Ya'alon said in a statement released hours after the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper quoted him as calling Kerry " obsessive and messianic" in pushing for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.
"I have many conversations with Kerry with regard to Israel's future," said Ya'alon, adding that he will continue safeguarding his country's security "with determination and responsibility."
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday also lauded the United States as Israel's "greatest ally," saying in a speech marking the parliament's 65th anniversary that the friendship between the two countries was based on "shared values and a commitment to democracy and freedom.