by: Kate Norman
Friday, 3 July 2020 | Times of crisis have a way of bridging gaps and bringing people together. Israel, nicknamed “the start-up nation,” has harnessed its technological prowess and scientific savvy to battle the worldwide spread of COVID-19—and other nations are taking notice.
Two Jewish state tech and defense companies signed a deal with a tech company in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)—a nation with whom Israel has no official diplomatic relations or treaties. Nonetheless, their ties are warming up quickly amid the global pandemic as well as increasing Iranian aggression, which both nations view as a threat.
Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) signed a memorandum of understanding with technology company Group 42 based in Abu Dhabi, UAE’s official news agency WAM reported Thursday.
During a signing ceremony via videoconference, company executives from both nations discussed how to combine their joint resources and knowledge to “develop cutting-edge solutions and medical initiatives that would benefit not only the populations of both countries, but humanity as a whole,” WAM reported.
“This joint initiative brings together some of the most active players in the COVID-19 response in the region and aims to leverage their combined knowledge, human and technological assets and other resources,” the WAM article continued, “to accelerate the delivery of breakthrough solutions to safeguard the public health and support the global fight against the pandemic.”
Group 42’s CEO said in a statement, as quoted by WAM: “At G42, we embrace international cooperation as a way to develop new and innovative technological solutions for the public good. The UAE has led by example in the global collaborative effort to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic, and our company is privileged to follow the lead and share resources and expertise with Rafael and IAI for such a significant cause.”
Israel’s IAI also confirmed the deal in a statement.
“The coronavirus crosses continents, nations and religions, and we see the utmost importance in cooperating for breakthrough solutions,” the statement said, adding that IAI hopes “it will lead to future cooperation between the two countries.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at a ceremony last week that the UAE and Israel were soon to announce cooperation in technology and research & development.
“This is the result of continuous and intensive contacts over the past few months,” the prime minister said. “It will be a blessing for many in our region.”
The UAE has joined other Arab nations in condemning Israel’s plans to apply sovereignty over Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, though the UAE warnings that Israeli sovereignty would affect peace in the region were milder than other Arab states.
Nonetheless, the UAE foreign minister asserted that the two nations could continue to cooperate on issues such as battling COVID-19 despite political disagreements.
Posted on July 3, 2020
Source: (Bridges for Peace, July 2, 2020)
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