Japan PM working with Saudi, Gulf leaders to calm regional tensions

Shinzo Abe, speaking from AlUla on Monday, said he hoped to find peaceful solutions with the Gulf's leaders. (Huda Bashatah)
Short Url
Updated 14 January 2020

Japan PM working with Saudi, Gulf leaders to calm regional tensions

  • Shinzo Abe said he and Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman agreed that countries must avoid exacerbating situation

AL ULA: Japan’s Prime Minister Abe Shinzo said Monday he wants to work with Gulf leaders to find peaceful solutions to heightened tensions in the region.

Speaking to reporters before leaving Saudi Arabia for the second leg of his regional tour in the UAE, Shinzo Abe said he and Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman agreed that countries must avoid exacerbating the situation.

“It is important for us to seize the opportunity and participate with them in finding peaceful solutions, which intend to minimize tensions in the region,” he said. “I would like to continue these diplomatic efforts and strengthen the bonds of friendship with the countries of the Middle East.”

Abe was speaking in Al Ula, the ancient site central to Saudi Arabia’s plans to open up the country to tourism.

“I have experienced the traditions and ancient culture that the Kingdom has preserved over the ages,” Abe said.

On Sunday, he shared dinner with the crown prince inside a Bedouin tent at Al Ula.

Abe arrived in Saudi Arabia on Saturday just as fears of an all-out military confrontation between the US and Iran had started to subside over the killing of Iran’s most powerful commander Qassem Soleimani. 

He said he had discussed regional tensions with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman on Sunday. 

“Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman and I agree that we must avoid exacerbating the situation, and that all parties must work hard on their diplomatic efforts to ease the tensions the region is facing,” Abe said.

He added that Japan had supported the region by sending naval and air support to the Gulf to guarantee the safety of Japanese ships.

Abe arrived in the UAE Monday for talks with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed and will then travel to Oman.


‘Absolutely silly’: Saudi FM refutes Amazon’s Bezos phone hacking claims

Updated 45 min 21 sec ago

‘Absolutely silly’: Saudi FM refutes Amazon’s Bezos phone hacking claims

  • Foreign minister said claims were "absurd"
  • Prince Faisal's tweet called for an investigation into the claims

DUBAI: The Saudi Arabian embassy in the USA has denied claims the Kingdom was behind the hacking of Amazon.com founder, Jeff Bezos’ phone, describing the accusation as “absurd.”

And speaking at Davos the Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said: “The idea that the Crown Prince would hack Jeff Bezos’ phone is absolutely silly.”

Reports on Wednesday suggested Bezos’ phone was hacked after receiving a WhatsApp message sent from the personal account of the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Describing the claims as “absurd” the tweet also called for an investigation into the claims “so that we can have all the facts out.”