Barak, Panetta hugging 370.
(photo credit: Ariel Hermoni)
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak is in Washington meeting
with top U.S. officials.
Barak, who has announced his resignation, is
meeting "leaders of government, and leaders of the defense and intelligence
establishments," a two-sentence statement from his office said. His four-day
visit began Wednesday.
He likely will leave office after the Jan. 22
elections in Israel, although pundits in Israel have suggested that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu may return Barak to his job as an
out-of-Knesset Cabinet appointee.
The statement from Barak's office did
not say what topics would be addressed during the meetings. Similar meetings in
the past year have emphasized the best way to end Iran's suspected nuclear
weapons program and the efficacy of a military strike in that effort.
was not clear whether Barak would meet this week with Chuck Hagel, US President
Obama's pick to succeed Leon Panetta as defense secretary. Barak, who had a
close working relationship with Panetta, also has been friendly over the years
with Hagel, a former Republican senator from Nebraska.