Defense Minister Ehud Barak flew to the United States on Wednesday for meetings with top Obama administration officials regarding the ongoing upheaval in the Middle East and as part of an effort to seek a resolution to Israel’s current standoff with Turkey and the Palestinian Authority.
Barak will meet on Thursday with Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and will hold his first work meeting with newly-appointed Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta who took up his post earlier this month. On Friday, Barak will fly to New York and meet with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.
Defense officials said that Barak will bring up the ongoing stalemate with Turkey over Israel’s reluctance to apologize for last year’s operation which stopped the Mavi Marmara
as well as possible ways to stop the Palestinian Authority from moving forward with its plans to unilaterally declare statehood at the UN General Assembly in September.