Gates arrives in Israel to discuss Iran, peace talks

US Defense Secretary plans to meet Barak, Peres, Netanyahu and Fayyad; official: Peace talks must continue despite escalation.

March 24, 2011 13:23
1 minute read.
US Defense Secretary Robert Gates in Russia

Gates 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


TEL AVIV, March 24 (Reuters) - US Defense Secretary Robert Gates arrived in Israel on Thursday in the wake of a deadly bombing that could complicate his planned efforts to press Israeli and Palestinian leaders to restart peace talks.

Gates, who called the bombing "a horrific terrorist attack", was expected to use his visit to discuss regional security concerns including Iran, but also to urge the resumption of peace talks stalled since September 2010.

Gates says Libyans, not West will determine fate
Obama condemns J'lem attack, touts 'importance of calm'

The defense secretary was due to meet Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak and President Shimon Peres on Thursday. On Friday, he will meet Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

A senior US defense official, briefing reporters ahead of the trip and the bombing, said Washington believed Israel needed to get ahead of a wave of unrest sweeping the region by advancing peace efforts.

Although uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain and Libya were focusing for now on domestic political and economic grievances, that could change, the official suggested.

"(Gates) will make the general argument that ... the Israelis have a very deep strategic interest in getting out in front of the wave of populism that's sweeping the region," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"Showing real progress on the peace track with the Palestinians would put them in a much better position for where the region's likely to be in six months or a year from now."

Gates is fresh from a visit to Egypt, where longtime U.S. ally Hosni Mubarak was toppled in an uprising last month. He was in Bahrain less than two weeks ago, urging reform there.

On Wednesday in Cairo, Gates expressed amazement at the speed with which the revolts have spread "regardless of the diversity of the governments involved".

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
August 31, 2014
Prime minister to Channel 1: I’ll be running again in next election

By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN