Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with his Hungarian and Czech counterparts on Thursday to discuss policies to fight COVID-19 as a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic sweeps central Europe.
Speaking to the press in Jerusalem, Netanyahu said that the three heads of state discussed the promotion of collaborations in the fields of research, development and production of vaccines.
"We've discussed several topics, including the green pass. It's a good idea adding the Czech Republic and Hungary to this," Netanyahu said. "We also want to bring them in for the international vaccine plant that we will establish in Israel."
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán commended Israel on its successful COVID-19 vaccination campaign and said his country considers Israel as a role model in dealing with coronavirus.
Orbán added that "we have some good ideas about the green passport. We are presenting domestic options for the green passport and are about to join the global initiative."
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said that his arrival in Israel "proves the Czech Republic has a friend it could rely upon" and that he draws inspiration from the Israeli vaccination campaign.
Babiš also slammed the International Criminal Court's decision to launch a probe into alleged war crimes committed by Israel against the Palestinians.
"We think it is intolerable. The Czech Republic does not recognize Palestine as a state, it is a political ruling." Babiš said. "The court should stop being selective. We will not forgive for anything that will endanger the State of Israel, which is the only democracy in the region."
Netanyahu also said that Israel would gladly help other countries in handling the pandemic and supply them with vaccine surpluses once the Jewish state is done vaccinating its own population.
"I promise we will do whatever we can. We live in an age of pandemics and we do not know if this will continue, so we need to organize ourselves against these possibilities," Netanyahu said. "We must become a seller and not just a buyer, become a producer. Together we can do it. Unfortunately, it will take two years, but we will be able to not only provide vaccines to our own population, but also to others."
Beforehand, Netanyahu and Babiš delivered a celebratory joint statement to the media after the Czech Republic opened an official diplomatic mission in Jerusalem.
The occasion was marked by an official ribbon-cutting ceremony in the capital, which was attended by Babiš, Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, and several other officials and dignitaries from both countries.
Orbán also attended the ceremony. Hungary opened its mission in the capital back in March 2019, making it the first to do so in the European Union, going against EU rules which stipulate that members of the bloc must open their diplomatic missions in Tel Aviv.
Netanyahu hailed the two leaders for their support and opening diplomatic missions in Jerusalem, adding that "we are better together."
Netanyahu was able to attend the ceremony after he was forced to cancel his first-ever official visit to the United Arab Emirates after neighboring Jordan blocked the premier from traveling through its airspace.
i24NEWS contributed to this story.