UAE, Israel Companies Sign First Deal After Breakthrough in Ties

United Arab Emirates-based APEX National Investment agreed to conduct research on the coronavirus with Israel’s TeraGroup in what could be the first cross-border deal after the two countries begannormalizing relations.

TeraGroup is “the first business to inaugurate trade, economy and effective partnerships between the Emirati and Israeli business sectors,” APEX National Investment Chairman Khalifa Yousef Khourisaid in a statement on the state-run Emirates News Agency on Sunday. The deal was described as a “strategic commercial agreement.”

The UAE announced last week that it’s moving toward normalizing relations with Israel, joining Egypt and Jordan as the only Arab countries to do so, in what was hailed by U.S. President Donald Trump as “a truly historic moment.”

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Even before the diplomatic breakthrough, a UAE official said companies in Israel and the Gulf state hadplanned to partner on efforts to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

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