Israel and Germany signed an agreement Tuesday to expand scientific cooperation on cancer research projects.

The agreement was ratified during a meeting in Jerusalem between Science and Technology Minister Yaakov Peri and his German counterpart, Johanna Wanka, who serves as the country’s federal minister of education and research.

Wanka and Peri expressed a willingness to expand the joint cancer research program and stated that they would strive to increase the program’s budget, which currently stands at NIS 2 million ($568,000) a year.

The two representatives also discussed plans to broaden joint water purification projects.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived in Israel Monday night with 15 ministers — nearly her entire cabinet – for consultations with Israeli counterparts and to celebrate 50 years of ties between Israel and Germany.

On Monday night, she and Netanyahu touted the countries’ strong friendship.

“We have come here with almost the whole of our new government and we wanted to show you in this way that this is indeed a very strong friendship,” Merkel said.

Merkel also told reporters that she did not support a boycott or the labeling of settlement goods, a position Netanyahu thanked her for, saying that boycotts would move Israel and the Palestinians further from peace.