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TEL AVIV, Israel — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel announced a new partnership with the United Arab Emirates on Thursday to cooperate in the fight against the coronavirus, portraying it as the latest advance in the Jewish state’s efforts to build stronger ties with Arab states.
But Mr. Netanyahu’s ebullient description was contradicted a few hours later when the Emirates issued a much more muted statement, announcing what it described as an agreement between two private Emirati companies and two Israeli companies to develop technology to fight the virus.
The Emirati statement took the wind out of what Mr. Netanyahu had touted as a diplomatic coup, suggesting that despite the deepening ties, the two countries were still at odds over Mr. Netanyahu’s vow to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.
Addressing graduates at an air force base near Tel Aviv, Mr. Netanyahu spoke in grand terms of what he described as a new partnership that could benefit the broader Middle East.
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