Barak and Clinton
Photo: Matti Stern
Defense Minister Ehud Barak is visiting Washington once again ahead of planned meetings with top security officials in the American administration.
Barak is expected to meet several top ranking officials Monday in order to secure new and advanced weaponry for Israel, especially in view of the latest arms deals in the Middle East.
Netanyahu addresses Russian-Syrian arms deal, says Israel must 'prepare for new rocket threat.' We are working to provide a technological response, he tells Likud ministers. Earlier, Israeli official threatens to sell arms to Moscow's enemies
The recent Russian ballistic missile sale to Syria and the arms deal between the US and Saudi Arabia, have Israel seeking to widen the technological gap in warfare between the IDF and Arab militaries.
Jerusalem is optimistic and believes Washington will agree to meet previously declined demands for advanced weaponry, such as "bunker busters" – bombs which are designed to penetrate hardened undergound targets – such as bunkers, as implied by their name – as well as advanced cruise missiles.
Such explosives may one day be used in a strike on Iran's nuclear facilities.
Those close to the defense minister stressed that Israel's defense ties with the US "are at their height," adding that Americans were "doing all they could to meet our demands."
Barak himself was quoted as telling close advisors that is was "crucial that Israel maintains its regional technological advances."
Monday will see Barak meet with US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, White House National Security Adviser James Jones and special adviser Dennis Ross.
Once in New York, Barak will meet with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Barak's people said that despite recent tensions between Israel and the US regarding the questions of settlement freeze and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the two countries remain close and friendly, especially on matters of defense, which Barak's people believe will now translate into meeting Israel's weaponry requests.
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