Obama unexpectedly joins Barak, Jones meeting in Washington

US President Barack Obama unexpectedly joined a meeting between Defense Minister Ehud Barak and US National Security Advisor James Jones in Washington on Tuesday. During the four-hour meeting, Barak and Obama discussed the current hot-topic between Israel and the US - that of settlement expansion in the West Bank. The defense minister outlined Jerusalem's position - that Israel is willing to remove 22 of 26 illegal outposts built after March 2001 - but requested that the US reexamine the issue of settlement expansion for natural growth purposes.