Prime Min­is­ter Abe of Ja­pan hails the UAE’s piv­otal role in pur­suit of Mid­dle East peace

The National - News - - FRONT PAGE - THE NA­TIONAL

Ja­pan’s prime min­is­ter hailed the UAE for play­ing a “piv­otal role” in the pur­suit of peace in the Mid­dle East.

Dur­ing his of­fi­cial visit to the coun­try, Shinzo Abe high­lighted the UAE’s ef­forts to safe­guard re­gional sta­bil­ity dur­ing talks with Sheikh Mo­hamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Com­man­der of the Armed Forces.

Mr Abe ex­pressed con­cern over re­cent ten­sions in the re­gion amid his coun­try’s de­ci­sion to send a navy fleet to Mid­dle East wa­ters to en­sure mar­itime safety.

The Ja­panese leader spoke of his de­sire to strengthen links with the UAE af­ter the meet­ing with Sheikh Mo­hamed at the Pres­i­den­tial Palace in Abu Dhabi on Mon­day.

“This is the fourth time I have vis­ited the UAE and met with Sheikh Mo­hamed bin Zayed. The UAE plays a key and piv­otal role in pur­su­ing sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment, peace and sta­bil­ity in the Mid­dle East,” Mr Abe said.

The year will be a his­toric one for both na­tions, he said, as the UAE gears up for Expo 2020 Dubai and Ja­pan pre­pares to wel­come the world for the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Sheikh Mo­hamed stressed the im­por­tance of the deep ties be­tween the UAE and Ja­pan, high­light­ing the part­ner­ship progress made in ar­eas such as trade, tech­nol­ogy, ed­u­ca­tion and the space sec­tor.

The grow­ing friend­ship be­tween the na­tions was ex­em­pli­fied by the launch of the UAE’s Khal­i­faSat satel­lite from Tane­gashima Space Cen­tre in Ja­pan in Oc­to­ber, 2018.

The two coun­tries are also aim­ing to work more closely in the ed­u­ca­tion field, with plans mooted for Ja­panese-lan­guage cour­ses in UAE schools.

Last Au­gust, the new Ja­panese am­bas­sador to the UAE, Ak­i­hiko Naka­jima, said talks

were un­der way over the ini­tia­tive.

“To both coun­tries, ed­u­ca­tion is one of the most im­por­tant pol­icy pil­lars for our pros­per­ous fu­ture. I be­lieve we can con­trib­ute to each other in this area,” Mr Naka­jima told state news agency Wam.

Sheikh Mo­hamed pointed out the rich his­tory of UAE-Ja­pan re­la­tions, with Ja­pan be­ing one of the first coun­tries to es­tab­lish diplo­matic links with the UAE af­ter its for­ma­tion in 1971.

A visit by the UAE’s Found­ing Fa­ther, Sheikh Zayed, to Ja­pan in 1990 was also in­stru­men­tal in help­ing to ce­ment a friend­ship stretch­ing from the Mid­dle East to the Far East.

Sheikh Mo­hamed said the UAE and Ja­pan share an ethos of tol­er­ance, co-ex­is­tence and di­a­logue, while re­ject­ing ex­trem­ism.

He said that the Arab Gulf and Mid­dle East re­gions face del­i­cate and com­plex sit­u­a­tions that need to be dealt with wisely, to main­tain se­cu­rity and sta­bil­ity in the re­gion.

Sheikh Mo­hamed out­lined his sup­port for Ja­pan’s po­si­tion on send­ing naval forces to the Mid­dle East with the aim of se­cur­ing its ships and pro­tect­ing its oil sup­plies.

The Ja­panese prime min­is­ter wrote a note in the VIP book at Al Watan Palace, ex­press­ing his hap­pi­ness at vis­it­ing the UAE.

Sheikh Mo­hamed later hosted a din­ner ban­quet in hon­our of the Ja­panese prime min­is­ter.

He and Mr Abe wit­nessed the sign­ing of an en­ergy co-op­er­a­tion agree­ment be­tween the Supreme Petroleum Coun­cil and Ja­pan’s Agency for Nat­u­ral Re­sources and En­ergy dur­ing the meet­ing.

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