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Israeli foreign, economy ministers visit Seoul

Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (Yonhap)
Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (Yonhap)
Israel’s foreign and economy ministers are visiting Seoul this week to hold talks with their Korean counterparts, South Korea’s Foreign Ministry said Sunday.

From Monday to Thursday, Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi and Economy Minister Amir Peretz will sit down with the Korean foreign and trade ministers to discuss deepening senior-level exchanges and expanding ties ahead of marking 60 years of diplomatic relations next year.

Israel will also sign a free trade agreement with Korea, after a delay last year over coronavirus concerns.

The meeting is expected to address COVID-19 vaccines as well. The two foreign ministers agreed to bolster cooperation on developing vaccines in a phone conversation in March.

Israel is a leader in vaccinating against COVID-19, having administered two doses of COVID-19 vaccine to more than half its population, which is the world’s highest vaccination rate. Only around 7 percent of Koreans have received their first doses of vaccine as the country struggles with supply shortages.

Israel plans to open its borders to a limited number of group tours on May 23 as its inoculation campaign has cut down domestic infections. It will let in individual travelers starting in July. All tourists coming to Israel will have to carry a negative COVID-19 test and a vaccination certificate.

By Choi Si-young (siyoungchoi@heraldcorp.com)
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