At a time where it seems tension between the defense minister and IDF chief of staff has broken a new record, Ehud Barak is trying to calm the situation.
On the one hand, sources close to the IDF chief say the defense minister is hurting Major-General Gabi Ashkenazi, and on the other hand, Barak stressed Thursday night that "he is an excellent chief of staff".
Barak, who on Thursday started interviewing the candidates that may take Ashkenazi's place, said, "The process of selecting the chief of staff will be an in-depth and serious process and it will be formed in the right way, at the right time."
Earlier, the defense minister met with Central Command Chief Major-General Avi Mizrahi.
After his meeting with US National Security Council's Dennis Ross on Thursday, Barak said, "I want to take this opportunity to express my esteem for Lieutenant-General Gabi Ashkenazi and the way he has led the IDF in recent years.
"The State of Israel is blessed with an excellent chief of staff and I can promise that cooperation between us will continue until his last day in office."
The defense minister added that he and the chief of staff are "responsible for the State's security together."
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