Barak, Mitchell talk regional security in TA

Defense minister briefs US envoy on the situation in the region post-Operation Cast Lead.

February 27, 2009 12:00
Barak, Mitchell talk regional security in TA

Gilad speaks to Mitchell 248.88. (photo credit: Defense Ministry)

Defense Minister Ehud Barak met US Mideast envoy George Mitchell in Tel Aviv on Friday for security talks, as well as for discussions on other regional and political topics. During the talks at Tel Aviv's Crowne Plaza Hotel, Barak briefed Mitchell on the situation in the region post-Operation Cast Lead and outlined Israel's security interests. He also summarized Israel's activities in conjunction with international bodies for improving the daily lives of Palestinians. Barak made special reference to Jenin where Palestinian security forces, trained by Jordan and US Lt.-Gen. Keith Dayton, are deployed. After the meeting, the two sat down with Defense Ministry Director-General Pinhas Buchris, Barak's bureau chief Brig.-Gen. (res.) Mike Herzog, his military attache, Brig.-Gen. Eitan Dangot, the Defense Ministry's diplomatic-military bureau chief Amos Gilad, US Ambassador James Cunningham and Dayton for further talks. The Obama administration has dispatched Mitchell to the region for the second time in its first month. The special US envoy, tasked with jump-starting peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, met Prime Minister-designate Binyamin Netanyahu on Thursday. He was also set to meet Palestinian leaders later Friday for discussions on rebuilding Gaza and Fatah-Hamas reconciliation efforts. AP contributed to this report

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