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Saudi Arabia, Japan hold talks to strengthen bilateral ties

King Salman receives Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah on Monday. (SPA)
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and Japan held comprehensive talks in Jeddah on Monday on a range of issues including politics, trade, and ways to strengthen cooperation to implement the Saudi-Japanese Vision 2030.
The talks between King Salman and Taro Kono, Japanese foreign minister, also focused on key regional and international issues.
“Kono, in his talks with King Salman, also discussed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and sought support of the Kingdom on the issue of North Korea,” said Setsuo Ohmori, minister and deputy chief of the mission, at the Japanese Embassy. He said that “the Japanese minister stressed the importance of putting pressure on North Korea, which is destabilizing the whole region of east Asia.”
Hiromichi Kato, a spokesman of the embassy, said: “Kono also talked about the move to de-escalate tension between Arab countries and Qatar, intensify efforts for the Middle East peace process, and boost cooperation for implementing Vision 2030.”
During his two-day stay in Jeddah, Kono met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Adel Al-Jubeir, foreign minister; Adel Faqeeh, minister of economy and planning; and Majid Al-Qassabi, minister of commerce and investment. In talks with Al-Jubeir, Kono called for “an early resolution through dialogue to defuse the Qatar crisis.”
The Japanese foreign minister’s talks with Faqeeh and Al-Qassabi were aimed to devise ways and means to implement Vision 2030. To this end, Kato said that “the third ministerial meeting within the framework of the Saudi-Japanese Vision 2030 is scheduled to be held in the Kingdom later this year.”
The spokesman also thanked the Saudi officials for easing the visa procedures for Japanese businessmen, which will go a long way in boosting commercial links between the two countries. The audience with the king was attended by several members of the royal family and ministers including Minister of State and Cabinet Member Ibrahim Al-Assaf, Saudi Ambassador to Japan Ahmed Y. Al-Barrak and Japanese Ambassador Norihiro Okuda.
The Japanese foreign minister’s visit to the Kingdom was part of his ongoing tour of five countries in the region, which kicked off on Sunday with a visit to Jordan.
During this trip, Kono sought cooperation of all Middle East countries including the Kingdom in dealing with North Korea, which conducted its most powerful nuclear test a few days back. He praised Kuwait’s move to suspend issuing new visas for North Korean workers and other measures to strengthen pressure on Pyongyang to end its provocations.

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