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Olmert appoints Barak as defence minister

world Updated: Jun 15, 2007 21:31 IST

IANS
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Newly elected Labor Party leader and former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak was appointed the new defence minister by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Friday.

According to popular Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth, Olmert decided on the appointment, which is expected to receive the government's approval, at his meeting with Barak on Friday morning.

During the meeting, Olmert said that he wished to rush the appointment in the light of the tense security situation and the collapse of the Palestinian National Authority in the Gaza Strip.

Barak responded to Olmert's request, and is expected to assume his new post on Monday.

Barak replaces Amir Peretz as defence minister. Peretz will remain in the government as a minister without portfolio.