Statement by the Press Secretary/Director-General for Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, on the Direct Talks between Israeli and Palestinian Leaders

December 25, 2006

  1. Japan welcomes the summit meeting between the Israeli and the Palestinian leaders held on December 23rd in Jerusalem, the first direct talks between the two leaders since June 21st 2005, and the announcement by Israel of partially transferring tax and customs revenues to the Palestinian Authority and of easing the restrictions on movement and access of the Palestinian people. Japan also appreciates the efforts by these two leaders to advance the peace process.
  2. Japan expects that, as a result of this meeting, both the Israeli and Palestinian sides will tenaciously continue their peace efforts to solve the remaining issues such as improvement of dire humanitarian situation of the Palestinian people, extension of the ceasefire agreement to the West Bank, and safe return of the abducted Israeli soldier as well as release of the Palestinian prisoners.
  3. Japan will continue to support peace efforts by the parties concerned, in addition to promoting the concept "Corridor for Peace and Prosperity", for the advancement of the Middle East peace process.

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