Israel, Bahrain leaders discuss Netanyahu visit, vaccine plant

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Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli’s Prime Minister and Sheikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Bahrain’s Crown Prince 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.

“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,” reports said.

Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates formalised ties with Israel on Sept. 15, in a U.S. 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 he was in talks with the heads of Pfizer and Moderna to open facilities in Israel.

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

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

 

Olusola Akintonde/Reuters

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