Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) agreed Monday to cooperate in the field of healthcare. 

This came in a phone call between Israeli Health Minister Yuli Edelstein and his Emirati counterpart Abdul Rahman Bin Mohammed Al Owais, according to a statement by the Israeli Health Ministry. 

The two ministers discussed issues of medical research and cooperation in the fight against COVID-19, the UAE state-run news agency WAM reported. 

As part of the cooperation, a student exchange program will be implemented between the two countries when the coronavirus pandemic comes to an end, the ministry statement said. 

Earlier this month, the UAE and Israel announced a US-brokered agreement to normalize their relations, including opening embassies in each other’s territory.

WAM reported on Aug. 13 that Israeli and UAE officials will meet in the coming weeks to sign bilateral agreements in several areas.

The UAE will be the third Arab country to sign a peace agreement with Israel following Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.

Palestinian groups have denounced the UAE-Israel deal, saying it does not serve the Palestinian cause and ignores the rights of Palestinians.

*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz

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