Statement by Minister for Foreign Affairs Masahiko Koumura on the New Israeli Government

July 7, 1999

  1. The new Barak Administration was approved by an overwhelming majority at the Israeli parliament (Knesset) yesterday, July 6th. The new government is composed of a broad coalition including not only the left and the center parties but also some of the religious parties, as had been sought by the Prime Minister-elect since the general election. Japan heartily welcomes new Prime Minister Barak's efforts to bring about national unity and to cope smoothly with the peace process and other important political agendas.

  2. Immediately after his election, Mr. Barak made a public pledge to withdraw from Southern Lebanon, thus demonstrating his willingness to actively tackle the peace process. Japan strongly hopes that the stalled peace process will be soon revitalized in all of the negotiations with the Palestinians, the Syrians and the Lebanese.

  3. Japan has been supporting the peace process through various efforts such as by extending political and economic assistance to the Palestinians and suggesting the Four-Point Proposal on Southern Lebanon. Japan intends to continue to play an active role by maintaining political dialogue with all the parties to the peace negotiations and by rendering economic assistance to the Middle East region while extending every possible support and cooperation to the Barak Administration.

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