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Israel and UAE to collaborate on cancer and diabetes research

ABU DHABI, UAE - JUNE 09: (----EDITORIAL USE ONLY - MANDATORY CREDIT - ISRAELI GOVERNMENT PRESS OFFICE (GPO) / HANDOUT" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS----) Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (L) is being received by United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (R) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on June 09, 2022. ( Israeli Government Press Office - Anadolu Agency )
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (L) is being received by United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (R) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on June 09, 2022 [Israeli Government Press Office - Anadolu Agency]

Israel and the UAE have signed an agreement to promote cancer and diabetes research, in addition to a joint study on mass vitamin D deficiency in the region, the Khaleej Times has reported.

The Kahn-Sagol-Maccabi (KSM) research and innovation centre of Israel's Maccabi Healthcare Services signed a series of agreements with Emirati health organisations this week in Abu Dhabi, aimed at promoting medical research and technological innovation. At the signing ceremony was Israel's Ambassador to the UAE, Amir Hayek, and its Economic Attaché Aviad Tamir. Also present was Saeed Al-Kuwaiti, the CEO of the UAE's leading health organisation, SEHA.

The report noted that this is the first agreement between SEHA and an Israeli organisation, following normalisation of relations between the UAE and Israel in 2020 as part of the US-brokered Abraham Accords. The SEHA-KSM collaboration, it added, will also support the UAE's ambitions of building a genomic research registry to optimise clinical data, sample collection and clinical reporting.

Last year Israel and the UAE signed a similar agreement, opening up cooperation in the healthcare sector. In March, both countries set up a regional forum to address the related issued of obesity and diabetes. They both have higher rates of diabetes than OECD countries. Israel and Gulf states also have the highest rates of morbid obesity compared with the rest of the world.

The recent agreements signed in Abu Dhabi come after KSM's collaboration with Bahrain's Ministry of Health. Manama normalised ties with Israel on the same day as the UAE.

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