Defense Minister Ehud Barak met with former White House chief of Staff and current Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel on Thursday night during a visit to the US, Israel Radio reported.

Emanuel's spokesperson Sarah Hamilton rejected Israeli media reports that the purpose of the meeting was to transmit a re-assuring message to US President Barack Obama, and said that it was a meeting between two old friends. They did not discuss political affairs, Hamilton reportedly said.

Israeli media had reported that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu wanted to clarify to the White House that his criticism over US policy on Iran was not intended to hurt Obama's reelection campaign.

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