Barak visiting U.S.


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak began a visit to the United States.

Ehud Barak flew out Thursday for talks in Washington with Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and National Security Adviser Tom Donilon.

Barak aides said he will discuss regional diplomatic and security issues with his hosts — a reference to ongoing bilateral defense projects as well as issues of concern such as Iran, the Arab political unrest and developments on the Palestinian front.

During his three-day visit, Barak also will meet with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Israel has been lobbying against the Palestinian plan to seek statehood recognition at the United Nations in September. Barak also has been key to fence-mending efforts ahead of the U.N.’s publication of a report on Israel’s lethal seizure of a Gaza-bound Turkish activist ship last year.

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