Barak to Gates: Hizbullah, Syria Must Not Gain Arms Supremacy over Israel

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates that Hizbullah and Syria must not gain weapons supremacy over Israel, The Israeli daily Haaretz said on its website.

His remarks came during talks with Gates at the Pentagon. The two men discussed an array of security issues pertaining to the United States' support of Israel.

Haaretz said Barak told Gates that Israel was particularly concerned by the increasing armament of Hizbullah and its ally, Syria, with advanced weapons that would adversely affect Israel's qualitative advantage and security.

It said talks also “focused on the contentious Iranian nuclear program and the imminent international report following an investigation into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.”

Barak and Gates, according to Haaretz, discussed continuing cooperation to build up Israel's active defense against missiles and rockets.