Barak urges revived Israeli diplomacy

Sept. 11, 2011 at 10:39 AM

JERUSALEM, Sept. 11 (UPI) -- Israel's defense minister said Sunday the government needed to revamp the way it was addressing the swirling political changes in the Middle East.

Ehud Barak called for a special Cabinet session to discuss what he called Israel's growing political isolation amid ongoing changes in Egypt and Turkey.

"There is a wide picture forming around us that includes what happened with Turkey, what is happening with Egypt, and what is happening with the Palestinians," Barak told his fellow ministers. "These are events that are not in our control, but we can certainly affect the way we face them."

Barak said Israel also needed to quickly shore up its relationships in Europe and with the United States ahead of a controversial move at the United Nations to elevate the status of the Palestinians.

"We have before us reports from the Foreign Ministry, the Mossad, the Shin Bet security service and the military intelligence, and we should at least hold an extensive Cabinet meeting about it," said Barak.

There was no immediate response to the proposal, Haaretz reported, but Prime Minister Binyamin Netenyahu Sunday condemned the weekend violent demonstration at the Israeli Embassy in Cairo and praised moderate leaders of the new Egyptian government.

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