AUSTRALIA’S Defence Minister Linda Reynolds held a “productive” telephone conversation with her Israeli counterpart Benny Gantz last week, a move the Israeli embassy says is “another important step” towards enhancing defence ties between the two nations.
“We explored opportunities to enhance our dynamic bilateral relationship – including advancing opportunities for both our defence industries,” Reynolds said on Twitter.
Shalom! Earlier this week I had a productive bilateral meeting with Israeli Defence Minister @gantzbe. We explored opportunities to enhance our dynamic bilateral relationship – including advancing opportunities for both our defence industries. ????????????????
— Linda Reynolds (@lindareynoldswa) October 16, 2020
Gantz added, “We talked about our shared commitment to working together to deepen our dialogue and expand our bilateral cooperation, while advancing our shared interests in security and stability.”
The Israeli embassy in Canberra said this high-level discussion would “contribute greatly to reinforcing our fruitful cooperation”.
“Minister Reynolds and Minister Gantz emphasised that Israel and Australia share common values and contribute to maintaining global peace and security and rules-based order,” Safi Amasha, Israel’s defence attache to Australia, told The AJN.
“The ministers reiterated their commitment to continue cooperation in the field of defence.”
Meanwhile, Gantz on Monday night announced that Israel’s Institute for Biological Research would begin testing a coronavirus vaccine on humans at the end of the month.
“We are at a very significant moment,” Gantz said.
“Professor [Shmuel] Shapira and the entire team have done fantastic work. They are the scientific vanguard of the State of Israel and they have brought this vaccine to the stage where we can soon begin trials on human beings.”
Shapira said the institute began working on a vaccine on February 2 and that it was nearing completion now.
“If this process succeeds, it will be great news for the State of Israel and maybe for all nations of the world,” Gantz said.