JERUSALEM — Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak was on Tuesday to fly to Washington where he would meet top US officials, including new US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta, his office said.
"He is due to fly on Tuesday afternoon for a three-day visit to the United States during which he will meet with Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defence Secretary Leon Panetta," spokesman Barak Seri told AFP.
He said the minister would also hold talks in New York with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who earlier this week delayed for the second time the publication of a report into Israel's deadly raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla in May 2010.
The Israeli operation, which left nine Turkish nationals dead, sparked a huge diplomatic crisis with Ankara and the report was delayed in order to give the two governments more time to patch up their differences, media reports said.
Ties between Israel and Turkey were likely to be on the agenda during Barak's visit, as well as Iran's nuclear ambitions, the funding of Israel's anti-missile programme and the Palestinians diplomatic push for UN membership in September, Israeli public radio said.
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