Telephone Conversation between Foreign Minister Gemba and Dr. al-Malki, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Palestinian Authority, and Mr. Liberman, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Israel
November 20, 2012
On November 20, Mr. Koichiro Gemba, Minister for Foreign Affairs, held telephone conversations with Dr. Riad al-Malki, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Palestinian Authority, who was visiting Cairo, Egypt, and with Mr. Avigdor Liberman, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Israel, respectively from 4:15 pm. and 9:15 pm for approximately 10 minutes. An overview of the telephone conversations is as follows:
- (1) Minister Gemba expressed a deep concern of the Government of Japan over the ever-increasingly tense situations in and around Gaza and strongly requested the Palestinian armed groups to stop rocket attacks and the Israeli side to exercise maximum self-restraint and both sides to continue their efforts for early realization of continuous cease-fire between them on a broader perspective in order to prevent further bloodshed. Moreover, Minister Gemba stated that the Government of Japan has been supporting the efforts by the international community for cease-fire and to drive such efforts, the Government of Japan would dispatch Mr. Yutaka IImura, Special Envoy of the Government of Japan for the Middle East (Representative of the Government of Japan), to the region.
(2) In addition to the above (1), Minister Gemba requested Minister al-Malki to work with the Hamas side. Further more, Minister Gemba stated that he supported tenacious negotiation efforts by the two concerned parties for the solution of the Palestinian issue and would continue to work on the assistance to the Palestinians.
- In response, Minister al-Malki expressed his gratitude for Japan’s consistent stance toward Palestine and stated that he would like to pay his respect to Japan’s efforts, support, and commitment for realization of peace over a long period of time and for the results of such efforts. Moreover, Minister al-Malki stated that he made efforts for mediating a cease-fire together with Egypt and other countries, and had been requesting a cease-fire from Hamas. Palestine is completely committed to achieve peace and would like to make its maximum efforts concerning cease-fire negotiations in the future.
- Foreign Minister Liberman stated that 1.5 million Israeli citizens are facing the terror of missile attacks from the Gaza Strip every day and it is necessary to ensure a peaceful and secure condition. Moreover, Foreign Minister Liberman stated that the Government of Israel considers the cease-fire a priority for the parties concerned and wants to reach a conclusion on a long-lasting cease-fire agreement, and for that purpose, the Government of Israel can consider any and all proposals.
- Finally, Minister Gemba confirmed respectively with Minister al-Malki and Foreign Minister Liberman that they would continue efforts for cease-fire.
- (* The foregoing is a provisional translation. The date indicated above denotes the date of issue of the original press release in Japanese.)