(photo credit: AP)
Defense Minister Ehud Barak plans to meet Lebanese Druse leader Walid Jumblatt in Washington, a Syrian internet site reported Sunday.
According to the Web site posting, Jumblatt intends to ask Barak to pressure the US to topple the Syrian regime.
US Vice President Dick Cheney has reportedly encouraged the meeting.
On Friday, Barak met with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon in New York. The two officials discussed recent developments in the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
According to the UN, Ban urged Barak "to take all possible steps to improve the humanitarian situation of the Palestinian people and reaffirmed the UN's commitment to ensure that Palestinian humanitarian needs were being met."
An official readout of the meeting from the UN added that Ban briefed Barak on the UNIFIL peacekeeping mission in Lebanon.
Ban and Barak also reportedly addressed the issue of Israel's captive soldiers, and the UN secretary-general told Barak that the international body was continuing to work for their release.
The two officials also discussed the threat posed by Iran, the UN said. The meeting came a day after Barak discussed the problem of Iran's uranium enrichment program with US Defense Secretary Robert Gates during talks in Washington.
The two men discussed the continued cooperation in the development of a "multi-layered missile interception system," seen as a measure to counter any Iranian attack on the Jewish state, Barak's office said in a statement.
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