A collaboration agreement in the fields of healthcare, medical education, clinical research and hospital management was signed on Tuesday between the Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO) and the Jules Bordet Institute in Brussels – Belgium’s only hospital dealing exclusively with cancer.

Joint research with Hadassah has already begun in breast cancer and pediatric oncology. Other fields are to follow soon.

Present at the Jerusalem ceremony was Didier Reynders, Belgium’s foreign minister and deputy prime minister.

Representing HMO was its deputy director for research, Prof. Yaakov Naparstek.

“In signing business agreements, there’s always the feeling that one side is getting more than the other,” said Naparstek. “In contrast, when you sign an agreement to share information, you both enjoy the growing reservoir of knowledge.”

Reynders called it a “very emotional moment.”

“There isn’t a more meaningful way to cooperate than treating breast cancer and cancer in children,” he said.

“Hadassah is also a bridge for peace. Working together, these two great hospitals are finding ways to add to the betterment of humanity.”

Speaking for the Jules Bordet Institute, Prof. Maurice Sosnowski – who is both head of its anesthesiology department and president of Hadassah International, Belgium – said: “Joint science and research is proof that the stupidity of hatred contributes nothing to humankind, but cooperation and life-saving medicine will save the world.”

The ceremony took place in the Abbell Synagogue, home of the Chagall windows, at Hadassah University Medical Center in Ein Kerem.

The delegation toured the hospital’s hemo-oncology ward and laboratories for gene therapy.

An agreement on research cooperation in giving medications to children was also signed Tuesday by the Hebrew University’s School of Pharmacy and Drexel University and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. It took place in Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat’s office at City Hall and was attended by Michael Nutter, mayor of Philadelphia.