Barak departing for first US visit as defense minister

October 14, 2007 18:50

Defense Minister Ehud Barak heads Sunday to the United States for talks with American leaders, his office said, in his first official working visit since taking his post in May. In a statement, Barak's office said the five-day visit would cover a range of "central regional and bilateral issues." Barak has been a strong proponent of developing a new missile defense system, saying Israel will not be able to carry out a major West Bank pullback until it gets an upgrade to protect itself against Palestinian rocket fire. The US partners with Israel on a number of anti-missile programs. Barak's spokesman, Ronen Moshe, said missile defense would be included in his talks.

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