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Israel joins Pakistan, other nations in US-led exercise

The Israeli Navy wrapped up its participation in the US Navy’s massive IMX exercise, in which dozens of countries took part, including several with which Israel does not have formal ties.

According to the details, this was Israel’s first time participating in the International Maritime Exercise, as it increasingly cooperates with the US military’s Central Command and its 5th Fleet, which operates in the waterways around the Middle East.

According to the US Navy, in total, more than 9,000 people from 60 militaries took part in the IMX, which kicked off on January 31.

Participants include a number of countries that Israel does not have formal ties with, such as Saudi Arabia, Oman, Comoros, Djibouti, Somalia, Yemen and Pakistan, as well as several countries with which Israel recently normalized relations, like the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, which hosts the US 5th Fleet.

The biennial drill was launched in 2012 and has become “the largest multinational naval exercise in the Middle East,” according to the US Navy.

“The participation of the Navy in the American exercise demonstrates the strengthening connection between our fleets, based on power, mutual learning, and strategic partnership. We are coordinated and working together with our American partners to prevent terror in the maritime arena and to strengthen the security of the region’s waters,” Israeli Navy chief David Salama said in a statement.

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