WASHINGTON - Defense Minister Ehud Barak is scheduled to visit the US next week, where he will meet senior figures in the Obama administration including Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, National Security Advisor James Jones, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Michael Mullen.
Barak is also expected to visit New York, where he will meet UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The focus of this meeting will be the UN's Goldstone Report, which accused Israel of committing war crimes during its war in Gaza, Operation Cast Lead.
The meeting with Ban comes as the UN's interest in the report slowly fades. Due to the consistent refusal of the US, Britain and France, the report has not been discussed in the Security Council, and is thus blocked from reaching the International Court in the Hague for the time being.
In a report released at the beginning of the month, Ban noted that no conclusions can be reached at the present time, since the internal investigation is still underway.
Barak and Mullen this week in Israel (Photo: US Embassy)
Meanwhile, the Arab League is still trying to reach a decision regarding moves to bring up the issue again, at least in the General Assembly. However, Arab states' hands are also tied there, due to the opposition of many Western states to the formulation of the resolution to adopt the report in its entirety.
According to Arab media sources, a resolution is now being formulated which will call on Israel and the Palestinians to conduct independent investigations into the findings of the Goldstone Report, without adopting the report itself.