Italy to send Israel coronavirus vaccines

Israel has negotiated to get vaccines from Italy and Germany.

Coronavirus vaccine under development (illustrative) (photo credit: DADO RUVIC/REUTERS)
Coronavirus vaccine under development (illustrative)
(photo credit: DADO RUVIC/REUTERS)
Italy agreed to send coronavirus vaccines to Israel, following a meeting between Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi.
Ashkenazi thanked the Italian government for agreeing to send the vaccines, and expressed hope that tourism between the countries would open soon.
The EU, which has a population of 450 million, ordered over a billion doses of potential COVID-19 vaccines from three pharmaceutical companies, but the European Commission projected this week that there will not be enough doses delivered for the 27-country bloc's population before the end of 2021. The doses are only supposed to go to EU member states, but Israel has negotiated to get spares from Italy and Germany.
Ashkenazi and Di Maio also signed an agreement for cooperation in the areas of education and culture.
The Foreign Minister encouraged his Italian counterpart to recognize all of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. The EU differentiates between the Lebanese Shi’ite group’s military and political arms, though Hezbollah does not make that distinction
“Join the wave of countries and recognize Hezbollah as a terrorist organization,” Ashkenazi said.
Di Maio rebuffed the request in his remarks, saying “it is important that all sides in Lebanon will work together to reach agreements and make the changes they urgently need.”
The Foreign Ministers also discussed the establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan.
Ashkenazi said “the Abraham Accords are a window of opportunity to renew dialogue between us and the Palestinian towards a fair and sustainable solution of peace and mutual respect.
“Unfortunately, the ones who refuse to take advantage of this window of opportunity are the Palestinian Authority leadership,” he added.
Di Maio also expressed “hope [that] the Abraham Accords will also bring renewed negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.”
President Reuven Rivlin also met with Di Maio and called for trust-building moves between Israel and the Palestinians, such as working on the Land of the Monastaries initiative to develop the area of the baptismal site holy to Christians on the banks of the Jordan River.
“This project will help Palestinians, Jordanians and us to bring millions of pilgrims for whom this is a holy site,” Rivlin said. “If we build trust between us, it will lead to cooperation in the future that will benefit both peoples.”