The UAE and Israel signed a deal to step up cooperation in the field of maritime transport, enhance exchange of experiences and strengthen strategic partnerships to serve common interests, further expanding their relationship. Suhail Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, and Merav Michaeli, Israel’s Minister of Transport and Road Security, signed the preliminary agreement, the UAE ministry said on Sunday. “The joint action between the UAE and Israel comes within the framework of the two countries’ determination to ensure permanent economic security, stability and prosperity and to develop and enhance sustainable national economies,” Al Mazrouei said. “The two parties realise that the development of maritime transport will contribute to enhancing economic co-operation between them to achieve future aspirations.” The UAE and Israel recently concluded talks on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement that is expected to boost non-oil trade and investment between the two countries. The agreement is ready for signing and paves the way for a “new era of collaboration” in priority sectors such as agriculture technology, medical technology, new energy solutions and advanced technology, Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, tweeted on Friday. Relations between the UAE and Israel have expanded since the two countries formally established diplomatic links through the Abraham Accords in September 2020. Trade between the countries reached $700 million within a year of the major agreement as they expanded co-operation in sectors such as aviation and finance. The latest agreement aims to enhance cooperation between the two countries in the field of transport, especially maritime, and to set a road map for future work, in addition to exchanging experience and knowledge to serve future generations for the next 50 years, a UAE statement said. The pact also aims to make use of the maritime fleet and ports of both countries, ensure safety of ships, crew, cargo and passengers, enhance the protection of the marine environment and develop maritime trade, the ministry said. “The two parties believe in strengthening relations that would help establish stability and peace in the Middle East, stimulate economic growth, enhance technological innovation and establish closer relations between people in the region,” Al Mazrouei said. The agreement will help the UAE and Israel to anticipate future challenges in the field of transportation through joint studies and research, the minister said. It will also lead to an exchange of views in the fields of maritime development, connectivity and logistics services between UAE and Israeli ports, and open new areas for co-operation in the field of marine technology and artificial intelligence in the maritime sector. “Economic and commercial ties build and maintain political relations and the agreement we signed will contribute to improving and strengthening maritime transport links between Israel and the UAE, and will allow trade to flow efficiently, quickly and at low cost,” Michaeli said.