Saturday, 04 December 2021 10:51 GMT

Japan affirms necessity to boost partnership with Kuwait


(MENAFN- Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) By Miyoko Ishigami

TOKYO, Nov 5 (KUNA) -- Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono has underscored necessity of boosting the partnership between his nation and the State of Kuwait at the political and economic levels.
This came in a statement to KUNA after a banquet held in his honor by the Kuwaiti Ambassador to Japan Abdulrahman Al-Otaibi.
Kono expressed hope that Kuwait and Japan would reinforce partnership, not only in terms of economic ties but also in political sphere, stressing Japan's support to Kuwait's mediation aimed at easing tensions in the Gulf countries. In his visit to Kuwait on September 10, Kono met First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, discussing ways to further strengthen the relationship between the two countries. He had also visit other Middle Eastern countries, recently.
During the dinner on Saturday evening, Al-Otaibi congratulated Kono on his victory with the largest number of votes in Japan's general election on Oct. 22 and his reappointment to the foreign ministry.
While expressing appreciation for his efforts in enhancing Japan's relations with Kuwait as well as other Arab countries, the ambassador hoped that Kono would continue to play a great role in strengthening Kuwait-Japan and Arab-Japan relationships. Guests in the dinner at the embassy included Arab diplomatic corps in Tokyo. "We have ambassadors from Arab countries here today. We are looking forward to getting benefit from Japan's experiences and expertise in a wide range of areas, and its greater contribution" to growing cooperation between the two sides, Al-Otaibi said.
For his part, Kono recollected his visit to Kuwait, Qatar, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt in September, including the first-ever Japan-Arab Political Dialogue in Cairo.
"The Middle East has a special place in my heart," said the minister, who regards the region as one of the five pillars of Japanese diplomacy. "The first Japan-Arab Political Dialogue saw a great success, and I'd like to continue the momentum," Kono said, adding that he has set up a study group about relationship between Japan and the Middle East. The minister also reconfirmed Japan's determination to increase multilayered and strategic relationship with Arab states, including its political and cultural involvement in the region. Kono and Arab diplomats exchanged views on a broad range of bilateral and regional issues of common concern, and ways to develop their their partnership to a new height.
"Stability in the Middle East is very important for us, and we are willing to provide assistance to the region that will help it achieve stability," he said, reaffirming Japan's strong commitment to peace and prosperity in the Middle East.
Kono pointed out Japan's friendly ties with the Middle East regardless of their religion, and its unique position to be able to hold frank talks with the US, which he described as "a key player in the Middle East." He also shed light on Tokyo's "Corridor for Peace and Prosperity" initiative that started 10 years ago with an aim to support independence of Palestinian economy through regional cooperation with Palestine, Jordan and Israel. As part of the plan to upgrade the initiative, Japan is hoping to put agricultural products made in the project to the markets in the Gulf countries and other Arab states, according to the minister. (end) mk.rk

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