Barak heads to Germany, Iran to top agenda

Defense minister to meet with counterpart, German foreign minister; will discuss delivery of new submarine.

March 20, 2012 11:03
1 minute read.
Israel Navy submarine sails off Tel Aviv

Israel Navy submarine sails off Tel Aviv 390. (photo credit: Baz Ratner/Reuters)


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Defense Minister Ehud Barak was scheduled to depart for Germany on Tuesday for discussions with his counterpart in Berlin, the German foreign minister and other officials. Barak was expected to discuss the advancement of a deal providing Israel with a sixth German-manufactured Dolphin-class submarine.

Last month, German Secretary of State for Defense Christian Schmidt told The Jerusalem Post that the contract for the submarine had already been signed a few weeks earlier and that Germany had agreed to subsidize its cost.

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The Defense Ministry initiated talks with Germany last year about buying a sixth submarine but Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government initially balked when Israel asked that it underwrite part of the cost. In late November, though, Germany announced that it had approved the deal and that it would pay for part of the vessel.

In late February, German media reported that the submarine slated for delivery to Israel had been openly placed in the harbor of the northern city of Kiel.

Also on the agenda during Barak's visit were developments in the Middle East and dealing with the Iranian issue, along with discussions on security cooperation between Israel and Germany.

Yaakov Katz contributed to this report.

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