Israel says Hagel to visit next month

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - U.S. Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel plans to visit Israel next month to bolster the allies' cooperation in the Middle East, the Israeli Defence Ministry said on Wednesday.

It said Hagel and his new Israeli counterpart, Moshe Yaalon, discussed the visit by phone on Tuesday. "I look forward to strengthening cooperation between the two defence establishments," the ministry quoted Hagel as saying.

(Writing by Dan Williams, Editing by Jeffrey Heller)