Barak says Israel faces complex challenges

March 11, 2013 at 7:06 AM
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JERUSALEM, March 11 (UPI) -- Outgoing Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Monday Israel faces "complicated challenges" but remains the strongest country in the Middle East.

Barak, who leaves office soon, made the comments to the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Israel Radio reported.

"We have very complicated challenges ahead of us. Iran is not disappearing and Syria is crumbling before our own eyes," Barak said.

"Israel is clearly the strongest country in the Middle East. We do not believe there is a force in the Middle East capable of attacking Israel with air forces and armored divisions," he said.

Israel is in the process of strengthening ties with the United States in intelligence and strategic security operations, Barak said.

"As in all deep friendships, there are arguments, but they are solved among friends," he said.

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