Barak meets with Jones and Ross for talks on regional threats, peace

Barak in Washington meet

Defense Minister Ehud Barak met on Monday in Washington with US National Security Adviser James Jones and top White House Middle East adviser Dennis Ross, who is also in charge of the US talks with Iran. The officials discussed array of political and security regional topics in the meeting, including Iran, the peace process, the regional threats to Israel and the state of affairs in Afghanistan and North Korea. Barak emphasized that Israel is interested in a peace process as such led by US President Barack Obama, revolving around an agreement with the Palestinians while safeguarding Israel's security interests. The peace process and ensuing deal must include an agreement on the end of the conflict and an end to mutual demands, Barak said, and mentioned Israeli gestures, such as removing road blocks and steps aimed at aiding the Palestinian economy. The defense minister also reiterated the Israeli stance that the Goldstone Commission Report on alleged war crimes Israel committed during Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip encourages and supports terror and terrorist groups, adding that everyone should unite against it. After meeting with his American counterpart Robert Gates later on Monday, Barak will head to New York, where he will join Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.