WASHINGTON – Defense Minister Ehud Barak met Thursday with US Vice President Dick Cheney to discuss the cooperation between the two countries on defense and security issues.
Upon leaving the meeting, Barak said that Israel had no objections to the NIS 2 billion weapons deal that was recently signed between the US and Saudi Arabia, and which included the sale of JDAM laser-guided bombs to the Arab country.
"We've reached understandings and arrangements that enable us to maintain our quality advantage. We have no intention to oppose the deal," Barak declared.
Barak and Cheney also discussed the installment of defense systems to protect Israel against rockets fired from Gaza. Barak stated that money "will not be an issue" when it comes to Israel's defense.
He reiterated his plan to create "an iron dome" to intercept Qassam and Katyusha rockets within two and-a-half years, and making the existing defense system "Magic Wand" operational within less than five years.
Barak refused to comment on the Iranian threat, an issue which was also addressed in the meeting, but stated that increasing the American aid allows Israel to increase its military buildup.
During his visit to the US, The Israeli defense minister has met with Secretary of defense Robert Gates and other senior administration officials. later on Thursday he is scheduled to meet with National Security Advisor Steve Hadley that may also be attended by President Bush.