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Ehud Barak First Defense Minister to Meet with Secretary Hagel

By: JTA

Outgoing Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak is scheduled to be the first foreign defense minister to meet with newly confirmed U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

The Tuesday meeting will take place following Barak’s speech at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s annual policy conference, which begins Sunday and ends on Tuesday.

The two defense chiefs, who have known each other for more than a decade, will discuss the Iranian threat during their meeting, according to Reuters.

It is also expected that they will talk about cuts in U.S. assistance to Israel due to sequestration. It is not known yet exactly how much those cuts will amount to, but the figure could be as high as $300 million and affect the Iron Dome anti-missile system.

Barak did not run for re-election in the recent Knesset elections following dismal ratings in pre-election polls.

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