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UAE, Israel agree to establish research and development fund

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces (R) and HE Naftali Bennett, Prime Minister of Israel (L), stand for a photograph, at Al Shati Palace. [Abdulla Al Neyadi for the Ministry of Presidential Affairs/WAM ]
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces (R) and HE Naftali Bennett, Prime Minister of Israel (L), stand for a photograph, at Al Shati Palace. [Abdulla Al Neyadi for the Ministry of Presidential Affairs/WAM ]

The UAE and Israel have agreed to establish a joint research and development fund to help reinforce common interests, including trade, technology, energy and climate challenges, the official WAM news agency reported yesterday.

According to WAM, the agreement was announced following the meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Crown Prince of the UAE, Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, in Abu Dhabi.

"The leaders discussed a variety of economic and civic issues in which there has been significant progress in the past year, including private and public sector cooperation in R&D, technology, food security, climate, water, energy, environment, health and tourism," a joint statement issued following the meeting said.

"During the visit, both sides confirmed a shared desire to advance a range of significant areas of cooperation to further strengthen trade and economic relations, by establishing a joint research and development fund. This joint fund, and a corresponding joint business council, will harness leading economic and technological minds in the UAE and in Israel, and task them with commercialising solutions to challenges ranging from climate change and desertification to clean energy and future agriculture."

Sheikh Mohamed welcomed Bennett, expressing hope that the Israeli prime minister's visit, which is the first visit to the country, "would contribute to further cooperation for the benefit of the peoples of the two countries and the peoples of the region".

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"The meeting also addressed efforts to reach a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (UAEIL-CEPA), strengthen climate cooperation and promote regional connectivity through economic and infrastructure cooperation."

On 13 August, US President Donald Trump announced a peace deal between the UAE and Israel brokered by Washington.

Abu Dhabi said the deal was an effort to stave off Tel Aviv's planned annexation of the occupied West Bank, however, opponents believe normalisation efforts have been in the offing for many years as Israeli officials have made official visits to the UAE and attended conferences in the country which had no diplomatic or other ties with the occupation state.

Then Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu however denied this saying annexation is not off the table, but has simply been delayed.

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