Visit to Israel, the Palestinian Territories, and Jordan by Minister for Foreign Affairs Koichiro Gemba

May 3, 2012
  • (photo)Meeting with Dr. Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority
    Meeting with Dr. Mahmoud Abbas,
    President of the Palestinian Authority
  • (photo)Meeting with Dr. Salam Fayyad, Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority
    Meeting with Dr. Salam Fayyad,
    Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority
  • (photo)Meeting with Mr. Nasser Judeh, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Jordan
    Meeting with Mr. Nasser Judeh,
    Minister of Foreign Affairs of Jordan

On Tuesday, May 2, Mr. Koichiro Gemba, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, held meetings with Dr. Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, Dr. Salam Fayyad, Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, and Mr. Nasser Judeh, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Jordan. The overview of the meetings is as follows.

Minister Gemba also visited the Old City of Jerusalem, Yad Vashem (the Holocaust History Museum), and the site of the Jericho Agricultural Industrial Park (JAIP) project being implemented as part of the "Corridor for Peace and Prosperity" Initiative promoted by Japan.

I. Meetings with Dr. Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority (in Amman, Jordan) and Dr. Salam Fayyad, Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority (in Ramallah, Palestinian Territories)

1. Middle East Peace Process

(1) Minister Gemba explained to the Palestinian side that during the meeting with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Israel Avigdor Lieberman on May 1, he called on the Israeli side to give positive response to the letter from President Abbas, to completely freeze settlement activities, and realize stable tax returns. Minister Gemba also conveyed his request to the Palestinian side that prudent and realistic responses be continued going forward.

(2) Minister Gemba conveyed that consideration was underway to grant the title of "Ambassador" to the Director of the Representative Office of Japan to the Palestinian Authority.

(3) The Palestinian side explained that despite efforts toward the resumption of direct negotiations, on the conditions of halting the construction of settlements and of observing 1967 borders, and despite the fact that negotiation is the only possibility for realizing peace, these efforts have not produced results.

(4) Concerning the presidential election and the Palestinian Legislative Council election, Minister Gemba conveyed that Japan was prepared to provide electoral assistance. He also stated that, in case a Cabinet including Hamas members was formulated in the future, Japan wished that such a Cabinet would announce the renunciation of violence, acknowledge Israel’s right of existence, and commit to keeping promises made in the past.

2. Assistance to Palestine, the "Corridor for Peace and Prosperity" Initiative

(1) Minister Gemba conveyed Japan’s intention to extend support that could help the Palestinian Authority improve its financial conditions.

(2) Concerning the "Corridor for Peace and Prosperity” Initiative, Minister Gemba requested cooperation from the Palestinian side going forward, in light of the four-party working-level consultation some days ago. Minister Gemba also exchanged views with the Palestinian side on trilateral cooperation in partnership with Indonesia and Malaysia and people-to-people exchanges for building trust.

(3) The Palestinian side conveyed that they regarded Japan as a trustworthy donor that always implemented promised assistance, and said that they were deeply grateful for such assistance. They also expressed gratitude for Japan’s political role as a country that maintained friendly relations with Israel, noting that both the Israeli and Palestinian sides lent ears to Japan’s statements.

II. Meeting with Mr. Nasser Judeh, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Jordan

  1. Minister Judeh brought up the good bilateral relationship between Japan and Jordan, including the good relationship between Japan’s Imperial Household and Jordan’s Royal Family. He stated that Jordan was currently promoting reform under the King’s direction, noting that the county’s stability was crucial to the region.

  2. Minister Gemba said that stability of Jordan was crucial to the stability of the Middle East, and conveyed his appreciation of Jordan’s intermediary efforts in the Middle East peace process.

  3. Minister Judeh emphasized that Jordan was not an intermediary but an interested party in the Middle East peace process, given that the realization of peace was the key to the stability of the Middle East.

  4. Minister Judeh also thanked Japan for its interventions in the Middle East peace process as well as its assistance to Jordan.

(*The foregoing is a provisional translation. The date indicated above denotes the date of issue of the original press release in Japanese.)


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