photo (Foreign Minister Nakasone)

Press Statement by Mr. Hirofumi Nakasone
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan
Issued after Japan-Egypt Ministerial Meeting

May 3, 2009

I am grateful to have the opportunity to visit the Arab Republic of Egypt this time. Japan highly appreciates that Egypt, a major stabilizing force straddling the Middle East and Africa, has been playing a significant role in securing peace and stability in the region through her efforts for realizing the Middle East peace and Africa's sustainable development.

Japan and Egypt have long enjoyed good relationship, and promoted cooperation in broad areas. Recently, the scope of cooperation has been further expanded, to such areas as science & technology, including Egypt-Japan University of Science and Technology (E-JUST), and peace-building.

H.E.Mr. Hosny Mubarak, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, personally extended to me a warm reception. The President stressed the importance of furthering such strong bilateral ties between two countries.

H.E.Mr. Abul Gheit, Foreign Minister, warmly entertained me with Egyptian delicacies over dinner at Tahrir Palace and we had extensive strategic discussions on a number of issues.

As for the Middle East peace, Japan appreciates Egypt's efforts to promote the reconciliation among Palestinian factions in the Palestinian National Dialogue. In the meeting, I stressed that Japan would continue to support Egypt's efforts to realize peace in the Middle East based on the "two-state solution."

With regard to Iran, I explained the result of my visit to the country. The Japanese Government deems that it is important for Iran to restore the trust of international community along the line with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions on the nuclear issue, and that it is of significance that Iran should play a constructive role in the region and the international community.

Japan hopes for the Arab states to overcome the various differences in their positions and act in unity to enhance the peace and prosperity in the region. Japan has been supporting Egypt's efforts, and expects its further efforts to this end.

We also agreed to enhance our cooperation on such important issues as Sudan (Darfur) and piracy off the coast of Somalia as well.

Last but not least, I would like to reiterate my highest appreciation to the warm hospitality offered by H.E. Mr. Hosny Mubarak, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt as well as H.E. Mr. Abul Gheit during my visit to this great country Egypt.

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