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Israel, Bahrain leaders discuss Netanyahu visit, vaccine plant

Thursday, February 25, 2021, 18:49

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Israel, Bahrain leaders discuss Netanyahu visit, vaccine plant

By Reuters


Thursday, February 25, 2021, 18:49
By Reuters

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the inauguration ceremony for the Shaar Hagai heritage site, the location of fighting during the war surrounding Israel’s creation in 1948, outside Jerusalem on Nov 29, 2020. (ALEX KOLOMOISKY / POOL VIA AP)

JERUSALEM – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Bahrain’s Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa on Thursday discussed the Gulf state’s possible involvement in establishing a vaccine plant in Israel, Netanyahu’s office said.

The two leaders also discussed a possible visit by Netanyahu to Bahrain once coronavirus restrictions would allow it, it said in a statement.

“The Bahraini regent also stated that he was interested in examining the possibility of Bahrain joining an investment in a vaccine manufacturing plant that is planned to be established in Israel together with other countries,” the statement said.

Israel expects trade with Bahrain to be around US$220 million in 2021, not including possible defence and tourism deals

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Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates formalised ties with Israel on Sept 15, in a US-sponsored deal forged in part over shared concerns about Iran. The deal angered the Palestinians, who have long demanded statehood before any such regional rapprochement.

Netanyahu, who is seeking re-election on March 23, said on Wednesday he was in talks with the heads of Pfizer and Moderna to open facilities in Israel. Neither company responded to Reuters requests for comment.

READ MORE: Israel starts reopening as number of COVID vaccinees nears 50%

Israel has been importing Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna Inc COVID-19 vaccines.

Israel expects trade with Bahrain to be around US$220 million in 2021, not including possible defence and tourism deals.

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