Barak to be first foreign defense chief to meet with Hagel


(JTA) — Israel’s Ehud Barak will be the first foreign defense minister to meet with new U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.

Barak and Hagel will meet Tuesday at the Pentagon, Reuters reported, citing an unnamed U.S. official.

The meeting will take place following Barak’s speech on the last day of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s annual policy conference in Washington.

The defense chiefs, who have known each other for more than a decade, will discuss the Iranian threat, according to Reuters. They are also expected to talk about cuts in U.S. assistance to Israel due to sequestration. The amount could be as high as $300 million and affect the Iron Dome anti-missile system.

Barak did not run for reelection and will be leaving his post. No replacement has been named as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continues to work to assemble a coalition government.

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