Japan-Iraq Foreign Ministers' Meeting
On Tuesday, November 24, commencing at around 11:45 a.m. for approximately one and a half hours at Iikura Guest House, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida had a bilateral meeting and a working lunch with H.E. Dr. Ibrahim AbdulKarim Al-Ushaiqir Al-Jafari, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Iraq, during his visit to Japan as a guest of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The overview of the meeting is as follows.
1. Minister Kishida stated that Japan will support the Iraqi government, which stands on the front lines of the counter terrorism efforts, and moves steadily toward domestic reforms and national reconciliation. In addition, he stated that Japan will continue to make contributions with making the best of its strengths such as humanitarian assistance for internally displaced persons and refugees, as well as support for human resource development and nation-building that Japan has consistently been working on. Furthermore, he announced that Japan is prepared to grant Japanese ODA loans totaling approximately 500 million U.S. dollars in the sectors of water supply and sewage as well as irrigation in southern Iraq.
2. Minister Jafari expressed gratitude for Japan's assistance to Iraq since 2003 and its humanitarian assistance regarding the counter ISIL effors since last year. He also said that the Iraqi government led by H.E. Dr. Haider Al-Abadi, Prime Minister of Iraq, will move forward with its national reconciliation. In addition, he stated that not all the regions in Iraq are dangerous, and that Japanese companies enjoy high confidence among the people of Iraq. He also expressed his hope that the bilateral economic ties would further strengthen within the realm of possibility.
3. Furthermore, both ministers had a candid discussion on counter ISIL efforts and the regional affairs such as Syria and elsewhere. They also agreed that Japan and Iraq will closely exchange information, as Japan will chair the G7 next year.