S. Korean, Israeli leaders agree on closer ties in response to COVID-19

July 16, 2021

The leaders of South Korea and Israel agreed during phone talks Friday to strengthen cooperation in efforts to overcome the COVID-19 crisis.

The pandemic was a main topic in discussions between President Moon Jae-in and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, according to Cheong Wa Dae. It marked their first phone call since Bennett’s inauguration last month.

Moon talked about the 700,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine that were shipped here from Israel under a bilateral vaccine swap accord. Earlier this week, local health authorities began giving South Koreans the vaccine shots.

“The exchange of vaccines will be a catalyst for the further deepening of friendship and trust between the two countries,” Moon said.

Their vaccine swap will also become an exemplary case of international cooperation, he added.

The prime minister noted that South Korea has been effective in handling the coronavirus crisis from the initial stage and expressed hope that Israel will learn from its experience.

Moon said that if South Korea, which has been relatively successful in virus control, and Israel, a model in vaccinations, share their experiences, that would help facilitate better responses to COVID-19.