Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Sec. of State Audition? Sen. Kerry to meet with PM Netanyahu and top officials

As confusion in the middle east continues and the Race for the White house kicks off, Senator John Kerry who heads the Senate Foreign relations committee is expected to meet with PM Netanyahu and defense minister Barak in Jerusalem this week.

The Associated Press and Israel Hayom reports:
Two senior U.S. officials, Senators John Kerry and Joe Lieberman, are visiting Israel this week, where they are expected to meet with a host of top Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

The political echelon in Jerusalem has refused to disclose the issues Kerry and Lieberman are expected to discuss with the Israeli officials during their visit.

Officials in Jerusalem consider Kerry's visit to Israel important, given his position as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which is responsible for overseeing and funding foreign aid programs. Israel and Egypt are the two largest recipients of U.S. foreign aid.The U.S. has also, in recent weeks, signed significant arms deals with Saudi Arabia and the UAE, including advanced military platforms.

Lieberman is chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee.

Furthermore, there is an assessment within the foreign ministry that Kerry may be in the running to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State should President Barack Obama win a second term.