Telephone Conversation between Minister for Foreign Affairs Taro Aso and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

March 6, 2006

From 11:00 p.m. on 6th March, Minister for Foreign Affairs Taro Aso held telephone talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who is currently visiting Canada. The main topics were Iran's nuclear issue and the Middle East peace process. The two ministers agreed to continue a close exchange of views on these topics.

  1. On Japan-Russia bilateral relations, the two ministers reaffirmed the importance of continuing to follow up the results of Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to Japan in November 2005.
  2. (1) On Iran's nuclear issue, Minister Aso highly valued Russia's constructive involvement to resolve the matter by diplomatic means, and stressed the importance of tenaciously continuing dialogue with Iran, referring to his meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mottaki on February 28th, in which Minister Aso strongly urged Iran to find solutions through its consultations with Russia.

    (2) Minister Lavrov responded by appreciating Japan's diplomatic efforts, and stated that Russia also attached importance to the continuation of diplomatic efforts and hoped to continue the discussion at the week-long IAEA Board of Governors Meeting starting on 6th March.
  3. On the Middle East peace process, Minister Lavrov briefed shortly on the exchange of views with Hamas leaders in Moscow on March 3rd. Minister Aso said that Japan strongly expects that Hamas, which had become the leading party through a democratic process, become fully aware of its responsibility, and that it strive for co-existence and co-prosperity with Israel.

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