Israel, Bahrain leaders discuss Netanyahu visit, vaccine plant

Israel, Bahrain leaders discuss Netanyahu visit, vaccine plant
Israel, Bahrain leaders discuss Netanyahu visit, vaccine plant

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures as he chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, March 8, 2020. — Oded Balilty/Pool pic via Reuters

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JERUSALEM, Feb 25 — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Bahrain’s Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa today 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.

Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates formalised ties with Israel on September 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 yesterday he was in talks with the heads of Pfizer and Moderna to open facilities in Israel. Neither company responded to Reuters requests for comment.

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

Israel expects trade with Bahrain to be around US$220 million (RM888.6 million) in 2021, not including possible defence and tourism deals. — Reuters

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