United Arab Emirates Food and Water Security Minister Mariam al-Muhairi met on Wednesday with representatives of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (H.U.) to promote a research and innovation partnership in the realms of food and agriculture technology, according to the university.

The meeting marked the first official visit of a senior UAE government official to an Israeli academic institution since Israel and the UAE normalized ties in September of last year as part of the U.S.-brokered Abraham Accords.

“The UAE minister’s visit to Hebrew University is both prescient and historic,” said professor Benny Chefetz, dean of the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

“Hebrew U. is known as a world leader in foodtech and agtech,” he said, adding, “We look forward to sharing our know-how with our neighbors in the Middle East, so that we may meet the challenges of climate change together and be better prepared.”

In addition to Chefetz, al-Muhairi met with H.U.’s Vice President of Strategy and Diversity professor Mona Khoury-Kassabri, faculty researchers and Agricora CEO Moshe Nadler.

Among the topics discussed were plant adaptation to heat and desert-like conditions, intelligent uses of water and the latest innovations in agriculture, according to the university.

The meeting on Wednesday—which came a day after the first agricultural agreements were signed between Israel and the UAE—took place on the day of the official opening of the UAE embassy in Tel Aviv.

JNS

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