Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has arrived in Washington after a trip to New York for meetings with Mideast peace envoy George Mitchell and at the United Nations yesterday. Here's the public schedule of his planned Washington meetings, from the Israeli embassy.
Today he is scheduled to meet with national security advisor Gen. Jim Jones, the chair and ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. John McCain and Sen. Carl Levin, and with Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Sen. John Kerry; tomorrow with U.S. Iran special advisor Dennis Ross, and Vice President Joseph Biden; and Thursday with Defense Secretary Robert Gates:
Public Schedule for the visit of Israel's Minister of Defense Ehud Barak to Washington, DC
June 2 - June 4, 2009
** This schedule is subject to change **
Tues., June 2:
9:00am Arrival in Washington, DC
11:30am Meeting with National Security Adviser Gen. James Jones at the National Security Agency
4:00pm Meeting with Sen. John McCain in 241 Russell Senate Office Building
4:30pm Meeting with Sen. Carl Levin in 269 Russell Senate Office Building
5:00pm Meeting with Sen. Patrick Leahy in 433 Russell Senate Office Building
6:00pm Meeting with Sen. John Kerry in 218 Russell Senate Office Building
Wed., June 3:
8:30am Meeting with Dennis Ross, Special Adviser to the Secretary of State for The Gulf and Southwest Asia at the Department of State
11:00am Meeting with Vice President Joe Biden at the White House
Thurs., June 4:
Meeting with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates at the Department of Defense
UPDATE: Obama dropped in on Barak's meeting with Gen. Jones at the White House today, Haaretz reports:
Obama spoke for about 15 minutes with Barak, who was meeting with National Security Adviser Gen. Jim Jones at the time. While Obama's official schedule did not include a meeting with Barak, he has in the past dropped into other officials' meetings with international figures.
The unplanned encounter came a day after senior American officials harshly criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his policies, causing tensions between the Obama administration and Israel's government to near crisis levels.
During Barak's meeting with Jones, the defense minister said both Israel and the U.S. were faced with great challenges and opportunities. He added that intimacy, candor and cooperation with the U.S. formed the cornerstone of Israeli policy, both in regard to security threats and to the peace process.