Middle East

October 15, 2014
An international donors’ conference on the reconstruction of Gaza was held in Cairo, Egypt on October 12, and State Minister for Foreign Affairs Yasuhide Nakayama attended from Japan. An overview of the conference is as follows. 
Incidentally, this conference was hosted by Norway and Egypt, and over 90 countries and international organizations from around the world participated.

1. Conference

State Minister Nakayama giving a speech

State Minister Nakayama gave the following speech at the conference.

  • (1) Commenting on the recent confrontation in Gaza, State Minister Nakayama emphasized the necessity for consolidating the ceasefire in order to prevent the recurrences of the conflict and to achieve reconstruction of Gaza through govenance  of the Palestinian Authority. Additionally, in order to steadily implement the reconstruction process he also proposed establishing an international support mechanism, and called on the concerned parties to continue the consultations for the resumption of the peace talks.
  • (2) As Palestinian assistance, State Minister Nakayama explained that Japan already pledged 200 million US dollars in March, and he announced that as one part of that, going forward Japan is scheduled to provide an additional 20 million US dollars which will be used for the removal of rubble and in the areas of food supply and social and economic development.
  • (3) Additionally, State Minister Nakayama mentioned unique Japanese efforts to stabilize Palestine, such as the "Corridor for Peace and Prosperity" concept and the Conference on cooperation among East Asian countries for Palestinian Development (CEAPAD), and he also explained initiatives and other efforts for building trust between Israel and Palestine.

Many of those attending the conference expressed concerns about the stalled Middle East peace negotiations and noted the importance of restoring Gaza under the Palestinian Authority, and the necessity for greater support for the economic and social stability of Palestine overall was reconfirmed. The total amount of assistance pledged by participating countries at this conference was approximately 5.4 billion US dollars.

2. Bilateral meetings

Ahead of the conference, State Minister Nakayama held a meeting with H.E. Mr. Sameh Shoukry, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt on October 11, and meetings with Dr. Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority and Bruno Maçães, Secretary of State of Portugal on October 12.

State Minister Nakayama holding a meeting with H.E. Mr. Sameh Shoukry, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt

(1) In his meeting with Minister Shoukry, State Minister Nakayama said he appreciates Egypt's role in the region, including its hosting of this conference for the reconstruction of Gaza. Minister Shoukry said he appreciates Japan's role in tackling international problems such as the Middle East peace problem and the fight against terrorism, and said he hopes Japan and Palestine will cooperate and work together. The two ministers also discussed bilateral economic and business relations and increasing the frequency of mutual visits by VIPs.

State Minister Nakayama holding a meeting with Dr. Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority

(2) In his meeting with President Abbas, State Minister Nakayama explained Japan's support for restoring Gaza, along with requesting that the Palestinian side also respond flexibly in order to move the Middle East peace process forward. President Abbas expressed gratitude for Japan's support for Palestine, and expressed expectation over the role Japan will perform in the Middle East problem going forward.

State Minister Nakayama holding a meeting with Bruno Maçães, Secretary of State of Portugal

(3) In the meeting between Secretaty of State Maçães and State Minister Nakayama, the pair exchanged views on developing bilateral relations further, including mutual visits by VIPs, and strengthening economic relations in particular.

3. Informal discussions

On the margins of the conference State Minister Nakayama held informal discussions with United States Secretary of State John Kerry, France Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Laurent Fabius, Italy Minister for Foreign Affairs Ms. Federica Mogherini, United Nations Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon, European Union High Representative Ms. Catherine Ashton, Jordan Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Nasser Judeh, Norway Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. B?rge Brende, Quartet Representative Mr. Tony Blair, Netherlands Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Frans Timmermans, and Kuwait Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs H.E. Shaikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Hamad Al-Sabah.

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