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Jordan, Japan launch strategic dialogue with focus on exchange, region

Safadi, Kono discuss means of building on outcomes of King’s visit to Tokyo

By JT - Dec 16,2018 - Last updated at Dec 16,2018

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ayman Safadi (right) and his Japanese counterpart Taro Kono hold the first meeting of Jordan-Japan strategic dialogue in Amman on Friday (AFP photo)

AMMAN — Jordan and Japan on Friday launched the first round of strategic dialogue meetings to discuss mechanisms of boosting bilateral ties and coordination on regional and international stances of mutual interest.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ayman Safadi discussed with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono in Amman the prospects of building on the outcomes of discussions held by His Majesty King Abdullah and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo last month to foster cooperation in all fields, according to a Foreign Ministry statement. 

Safadi and his counterpart stressed that the launch of the strategic dialogue, which both countries agreed to hold regularly between the two countries’ foreign ministries, reflects the importance of the developed ties and constitutes a practical step towards institutionalising cooperation and moving it forward.

The two ministers agreed on increasing trade, economic, investment and educational exchange, in addition to boosting defence and security cooperation.

Safadi highlighted that the Kingdom regards fostering its partnership with Japan of high significance, voicing his appreciation for Tokyo’s support for Jordan’s national economy and development process. 

Kono expressed Japan’s keenness on developing its strategic partnership with Jordan and increasing coordination and consultation over regional challenges and means to overcome them. 

He also reiterated that the Kingdom plays a leading role in enhancing regional stability, achieving comprehensive peace, countering terrorism and boosting cooperation with the international community.

Talks also went over regional developments, particularly the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the Syrian crisis, as well as the war on terror.

Safadi commended Japan’s stance in support of a two-state solution to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, expressing gratitude for the country’s financial support to UNRWA, as well as coorganising with Jordan the conference held last September at the UN to secure allocations for the agency.

Discussions also addressed the necessity of boosting efforts aimed at breaking the deadlock in the peace process, which, Safadi stressed, can only be achieved through realising Palestinians’ rights to freedom, statehood and dignity. 

He warned that the ongoing occupation, and the failure to establish an independent Palestinian state within the pre-1967 lines with East Jerusalem as its capital, would compromise regional stability and security.

The top diplomats agreed on the necessity of reaching a political solution to the Syrian crisis that safeguards the unity and stability of the country.

In this regard, Safadi briefed his Japanese counterpart on the Jordanian stance that seeks to find realistic solutions to the conflict and stimulate a positive Arab role to reach a political formula that is accepted by the Syrian people.

He lauded Japan’s support to help the Kingdom fulfil the needs of some 1.3 million Syrian refugees on its land, noting that the declining support for refugees has ramifications for both Jordan and the refugees.

Safadi reiterated the importance of maintaining stability in Syria, particularly the southern part, as well as ensuring the provision of aid.

Kono commended Jordan’s humanitarian role in hosting refugees amidst the severe challenges and the increasing pressure on the Kingdom’s limited resources. 

The two ministers welcomed the agreements reached during peace talks in Sweden about Yemen, noting that they represent a crucial step towards reaching a political solution for the crisis. 

They also agreed on holding the second round of the periodic strategic dialogue in Japan next year, according to the statement.

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