Defense Minister Ehud Barak met Monday with the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a private meeting which lasted an hour.
Barak stressed the immediate need for Palestinians to engage in direct talks with Israel, following his discussions with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama on the subject.Barak told Clinton that only direct negotiations could lead to breakthrough and a historical agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.
The defense minister explained that the US is capable of bringing a real change to negotiations and that Israel recognizes the time for courageous decisions from both sides.
Barak also told the secretary of state that Israel expects the US to exert its influence on the Lebanese government to help prevent the provocative Lebanese aid flotilla from heading to the Gaza Strip.
"Israel sees the Lebanese government directly responsible for all developments regarding the flotilla," the defense minister stated.
The two also discussed in the meeting the current situation in the Middle East, ranging from Turkey to Iran and spoke about the need to ensure Israel's security.