1. Minister of Foreign Affairs Chung Eui-yong spoke with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Israel Yair Lapid on the phone on August 4 and exchanged views on matters of mutual interest, including Korea-Israel bilateral relations, response to COVID-19, and the promotion of trade and investment.
ㅇ This was the first telephone conversation between the Korean and Israeli Foreign Ministers after Foreign Minister Lapid assumed office.
2. Foreign Minister Chung congratulated Foreign Minister Lapid on his appointment and expressed hope for close communication between them to further promote Korea-Israel relations. Foreign Minister Lapid stressed that the two countries have a great potential for cooperation, voicing hope to further develop the relations between the two countries in cooperation with Foreign Minister Chung.
3. Foreign Minister Chung noted that last month’s COVID-19 vaccine swap between the two countries was mutually beneficial in that it facilitated efficient use of vaccines, and that it set a good example for international cooperation in fighting the disease.
ㅇ The two Foreign Ministers agreed that the two countries will continue cooperation in COVID-19 response by sharing experiences in disease control including vaccination.
4. The two Foreign Ministers also agreed to make joint efforts for an early entry into effect of the Korea-Israel Free Trade Agreement and to continue to expand their cooperation in the fields of trade, investment and technological innovations.
ㅇ In response to Israel’s request to endorse the Working Definition of Anti-semitism adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, Foreign Minister Chung noted that racial discrimination cannot be justified under any circumstances and that the Korean government endorses the definition as well.
5. Foreign Minister Chung welcomed the recent progress toward the normalization of the relations between Israel and Arab countries, including the opening of an Israeli Embassy in the United Arab Emirates. The two Foreign Ministers also exchanged views on recent developments in the Middle East region, including the Gulf of Oman.