Lapid, Saudi FM were on US-hosted call together

The foreign ministers of Israel, Saudi Arabia and other countries discussed the Omicron variant, coordinating a global response, and accelerating efforts to combat COVID-19.

 FOREIGN MINISTER Yair Lapid with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at a joint news conference at the State Department las week. (photo credit: ANDREW HARNIK/POOL VIA REUTERS)
FOREIGN MINISTER Yair Lapid with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at a joint news conference at the State Department las week.
(photo credit: ANDREW HARNIK/POOL VIA REUTERS)

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and his Saudi counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud were on a conference call with other top diplomats, organized by the US last week.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken hosted the call, which was about the Omicron variant of COVID-19 and included several other foreign ministers.

The presence of the foreign ministers of Israel and Saudi Arabia, which do not have diplomatic relations was first reported by CNN and verified by The Jerusalem Post.

Following the Abraham Accords, in which Israel established diplomatic relations with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco last year, the Trump administration attempted to convince Riyadh to normalize ties with Israel, even orchestrating a meeting between former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in November 2020.

Lapid tweeted after the December 21 call: “I participated in a Zoom for foreign ministers about Omicron, together with US Secretary of State Blinken and the foreign ministers of Japan, India, Mexico, Australia, Germany and many other countries.

SAUDI ARABIAN Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud speaks at the Gulf Cooperation Council Summit in Al-Ula, Saudi Arabia, last month.  (credit: AHMED YOSRI/ REUTERS)SAUDI ARABIAN Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud speaks at the Gulf Cooperation Council Summit in Al-Ula, Saudi Arabia, last month. (credit: AHMED YOSRI/ REUTERS)

“We talked about how the world is handling the Omicron outbreak, the challenges and the solutions,” he wrote. “I updated them that Israel donated a million vaccines to African states...I concluded that the virus doesn’t care if we are Muslims, Jews, Christians or Hindus and we shouldn’t care either; we have to fight it together.”

The State Department did not list participants in its statement about the call, which said the foreign ministers “exchanged information to better understand the Omicron variant, coordinate a global response, and accelerate efforts to combat COVID-19.”

Officials from the EU and China, among others, tweeted their participation in the call as well.