Arab News poll ‘shows Japan’s potential in Mideast peace role’

Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi. (AFP)
Updated 12 November 2019

Arab News poll ‘shows Japan’s potential in Mideast peace role’

  • Japanese foreign minister says Tokyo keen to be involved in diplomacy between Palestine and Israel

TOKYO, DUBAI: An Arab News poll on Arab attitudes to Japan has highlighted the potential of Tokyo’s role in mediating the Palestinian-Israeli peace process, Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said on Tuesday.

The minister was asked about poll findings that more than 56 percent of Arabs thought Japan would be an ideal mediator for Middle East peace, and had high expectations for Japanese diplomacy.

“The results of the … poll show that the role Japan has played in Middle East peace to date has been well received,” he told a press conference in Tokyo. “Japan thinks that cooperation between Israel and an independent Palestine is very important for realizing peace.”

Motegi said he had spoken recently with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. “He also said he had high expectations of the role Japan can play, so to meet those expectations I want Japan to play a role as far as possible in finding a peaceful solution.”

The YouGov poll commissioned by Arab News was based on online interviews with 3,033 Arabic speakers from 18 Arab countries. Its overall findings were released last month to coincide with the launch in Tokyo of the new Arab News Japan edition, and Saudi-specific findings were published later in Riyadh.

Poll findings related to the UAE were released on Tuesday night at an event in Dubai, hosted at his official residence by Dr. Akima Umezawa, the Consul-General of Japan in the city.

The survey found that 13 percent of UAE residents had visited Japan, by far the highest percentage of the Arab countries polled, in which the average was 4 percent.
 


Khamenei says Iran wants removal of Israel state not people

Updated 15 min 17 sec ago

Khamenei says Iran wants removal of Israel state not people

  • Khamenei said the future of the land should be decided by Palestinians of all faiths
  • The Iranian government refers to Israel as the “Zionist regime”
TEHRAN: Iran’s supreme leader said Friday that calls for the abolition of Israel which have sparked outrage in the West target the “imposed state” not the Jewish people.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the future of the land should be decided by Palestinians of all faiths, Jewish as well as Christian and Muslim.
“The ‘abolition of the Israeli regime’ ... does not mean the abolition of Jewish people; we have no problem with them,” Khamenei told a meeting of Islamic countries in Tehran, according to his official website.
It means “abolition of the imposed regime and state, that the Palestinian people, whether Muslim, Christian or Jewish... choose their own government and oust thugs like (Benjamin) Netanyahu,” he added, referring to Israel’s prime minister.
The Iranian government does not recognize Israel, referring to it as the “Zionist regime,” and support for the Palestinian cause has been a constant feature of its foreign policy since the Islamic revolution of 1979.
Iran openly supports Israeli foes like Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the occupied Palestinian territories and Hezbollah in Lebanon.
“We are not anti-semitic. Jews are living in utmost safety in our country. We only support the people of Palestine and their independence,” he said.
Khamenei said that the “enemies of Islam,” including Israel and the United States, seek to sow discord between Islamic countries and called for unity in the face of the “common enemy.”
Tensions between Tehran and Washington have soared since President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal last year and reimposed crippling sanctions as part of a policy of “maximum pressure.”
Since then the arch-foes have come to the brink of military confrontation after drones were downed and tankers and Saudi oil installations mysteriously attacked.