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Japanese FM underlines UAE's pivotal role in Gulf stability

posted on 16/04/2004: 743 views

Yoriko Kawaguchi, Japanese Foreign Minister underlined that the UAE under the leadership of President H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan plays a pivotal role in peace and development process and contributes in a significant manner in ensuring peace and stability in the Gulf region. In an interview with the Emirates News Agency, WAM, she stressed the importance of the expected visit of Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Premier and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs to Japan, saying that she sincerely welcomed the visit.

Kawaguchi said: "I consider the visit in the context of the follow up of our meeting last January in Abu Dhabi. I am looking forward to the meeting with Sheikh Hamdan and to exchange with him views on a number of issues, including the current situation in the Middle East."

She affirmed that the visit would further enhance friendship ties between the UAE and Japan, stressing the importance of exchanging visits between the two countries' top officials, as well as supporting the joint stances of the two countries in various fields.

Following is the full text of the interview:

Q. How do you evaluate bilateral cooperation between the UAE and Japan? Is there any plan to boost these relations in the future?

A. The UAE is a stable country with an advanced environment and under the leadership of President H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, it has endeavoured to achieve extraordinary economic development. I was highly impressed by the progress being made by the UAE during the three visits I made to the UAE. I am expressing my profound appreciation to Sheikh Zayed for his efforts in building the nation and Japan highly values the role of the UAE in ensuring stability in the Gulf region, which is considered of great significance to the whole international community.

The UAE and Japan are linked by strong friendship over a long period in all fields, including political and economic domains. More than 1400 Japanese are living in the UAE and they represent the largest Japanese community in the Middle East and Africa.

Q. How does your government view Sheikh Hamdan's visit to Japan, particularly in enhancing cooperation between the two countries?

A." When I visited the UAE in January 2004, Sheikh Hamdan expressed his strong desire to visit Japan for the sake of promoting friendship bonds between our two countries. I was happy to hear this, because it was completely in harmony with my ideas that the UAE is a significant commercial partner of Japan."

Q. What is the potential to enhance cooperation in economic, political and cultural fields between the two countries?

A. "A number of visits were exchanged between our two countries, including the visit of Sheikh Zayed to Japan in 1990, as well as my three visits to the UAE, and the visit of Minister of Economy, Commerce and Industry and the visit of the three general secretaries of the Ruling party to the UAE. This shows the strong will of the two countries aimed at boosting mutual cooperation."

Q. Do you think the UAE and Japan are prepared to forge future joint strategic ventures in the field of transfer of technology, energy, water and training?

A." Quarter of the Japan's crude oil imports comes from the UAE and Japanese companies have contributed in the UAE's development process through implementing economic projects for the UAE infrastructure, and now we are looking forward to further enhance this cooperation."

Q. Can you talk in details about the current situation in the Gulf region and the Middle East?

A. "Since the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq, the Middle East faces significant political and economic changes. It is certain that these crucial changes would lead to tangible results and to achieve this we should fully study how to establish stability in Iraq and peace in the Middle East."

"Regarding the peace in the Middle East between the Israelis and the Palestinians, the efforts exerted to implement the road map, agreed by the two parties has not showed any progress up to now, let alone, continuation of Israeli military operations against extremist Palestinians, as well as retaliatory suicide bombing operations by extremist Palestinians." "Japan is working closely with the concerned countries and calls the two parties to build confidence. In addition, Japan is actively working to help Palestinians in term of peace efforts indirectly." (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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