Foreign Minister Kono Visits Kuwait
September 10, 2017
On September 10, Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, visited the State of Kuwait. The overview is as follows.
- During his visit to Kuwait, Minister Kono held a foreign ministers’ meeting and working lunch with H.E. Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait.
- At the beginning, First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled welcomed Minister Kono’s visit to Kuwait, stating that Japan is an important friend to Kuwait, and Kuwait hopes to strengthen the bilateral relationship in all fields.
- Minister Kono responded that Kuwait has been a close partner to Japan for many years, and expressed his desire to further strengthen the relationship between the two countries.
- The two ministers shared the view that Japan, which possesses experience as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), and Kuwait, which will be newly appointed as a non-permanent member of the UNSC, will cooperate closely in the international arena.
- In addition, with regard to the recent situation surrounding Qatar, Minister Kono stated that maintaining regional unity is important for peace and stability of the Middle East, and expressed his hope that this issue would be resolved by dialogue among the relevant parties. From that perspective, Minister Kono reiterated Japan’s position of supporting Kuwait’s mediation efforts, and expressed Japan’s readiness to play a role. In response, the Kuwaiti side expressed its gratitude for Japan’s support for Kuwait’s mediation, and also hoped for Japan’s role.
- The two ministers exchanged views on the situation in East Asia, including North Korea. With regard to the North Korea situation, the Kuwaiti side stated that Kuwait is disturbed by the current situation surrounding North Korea and intends to support Japan’s position. The Kuwait side also explained that it is making its own efforts including suspension of issuing visas to North Korean workers. In response, Minister Kono emphasized the need for the international community to put pressure on North Korea.
- Furthermore, the two ministers exchanged views on the various situations in the Middle East. The Kuwaiti side appreciated Japan’s assistance and roles toward Iraq, Syria, and Palestine, and expressed its hope for Japan’s positive role at the donors’ conference for the reconstruction of Iraq that is scheduled to be held in Kuwait. Minister Kono responded that he hopes to cooperate with Kuwait.