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World News

UAE, Israel health ministers agree to enhance cooperation on health

DUBAI (Reuters) - The United Arab Emirates and Israel on Monday agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation in the health sector following an accord between the countries to normalise relations 10 days ago, UAE state news agency WAM said.

The health ministers of the two countries discussed cooperation on pharmaceuticals, medical research and COVID-19 in a telephone call. A statement from Israel’s Health Ministry added that they agreed on “initial and immediate cooperation” in the health sector.

Israel and the UAE have agreed to normalise diplomatic ties and forge a broad new relationship under a U.S.-sponsored deal, making the UAE the third Arab country to have formal diplomatic ties with Israel after Egypt and Jordan.

The two countries will each appoint representatives and set up business delegations, the Israeli health ministry said.

The countries will also work to create a student exchange program once the coronavirus pandemic conditions allow, it added.

Since the deal, the countries have signed a few agreements on technologies to fight the coronavirus. Several small-scale medical and defence collaborations were announced in the weeks preceding the normalisation agreement.

Reporting by Lisa Barrington in Dubai and Dan Williams in Jerusalem; Editing by Alison Williams, Kirsten Donovan

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