Barak scraps Germany visit


Israel’s defense minister, citing tensions with Syria and Lebanon, postponed a visit to Germany.

Ehud Barak was to have traveled to Berlin this week for strategic talks about the Middle East but postponed the trip indefinitely, aides said.

Barak was reluctant to leave Israel, they said, during a nationwide war drill that coincides with concerns of a possible new conflagration with Lebanese Hezbollah or its Syrian patrons.

Germany is a key mediator in efforts to recover two Israeli soldiers abducted by Hezbollah in July 2006. Israel also has two strategic Dolphin-class submarines on order from a German shipyard to expand its current fleet of three.

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