FM, Japanese counterpart hold 3rd round of both countries' strategic dialogue

14-03-2023 09:11 AM

Ammon News - Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, Ayman Safadi, and his Japanese counterpart, Hayashi Yoshimasa, held Monday the third round of the Jordanian-Japanese strategic dialogue, with the participation of Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Zeina Toukan.

Safadi and Yoshimasa discussed ways to enhance bilateral cooperation and increase coordination on regional and international issues of common concern.

Safadi, who is visiting Japan alongside Toukan, to hold extensive talks with Japanese officials, ahead of His Majesty King Abdullah II's visit to Japan in April, stressed the importance of holding this round in strengthening the historical Jordanian-Japanese friendship.

Safadi and Yoshimasa voiced keenness of the two countries to enhance their relations and expand cooperation in various fields, underlining the growing cooperation between the two countries within their strategic partnership.

The two ministers agreed to bolster bilateral cooperation in various fields, politically, economically, security and culturally, and they discussed many regional and international issues of common interest.

They called for maintaining bilateral relations' positive momentum, by continuing to hold rounds of strategic dialogue and exchanging high-level visits.

Yoshimasa expressed his country's appreciation to the Kingdom's role as its key partner in the region and will continue to provide economic and development support to it, especially in the water and energy sectors.

He pointed to the projects implemented by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in the Kingdom, explaining that Japanese support to Jordan amounted to $1.8 billion between 2009 and 2022.

Safadi expressed appreciation for Japan's continuous support to Jordan to help in its economic development efforts and to face the repercussions of regional crises.

For her part, Toukan highlighted economic cooperation programs between Jordan and Japan, explaining the Kingdom's measures on developing the investment environment and stimulate economic growth.

She spoke about the economic modernization vision and the economic and administrative reform programs adopted by the Kingdom to develop economic performance and improve the investment environment.

Toukan stressed the importance of the $110 million soft loan that Japan provided to Jordan to support the electricity sector reform program in December, which was part of the Japanese government’s pledges at the 2019 London Conference to provide total financing in the form of soft loans worth $300 million in 2021–2023.

In addition, Yoshimasa commended the Kingdom's great role in hosting refugees, especially Syrians.

He reaffirmed that Japan will continue to support the refugees, pointing out that his country provided a $10.44 million support last year to refugees through international organizations, such as the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Safadi underlined the importance of the Japanese support to the refugees, indicating that providing a decent life for refugees and meeting their needs is an international responsibility and not only the responsibility of host countries, warning of the consequences of the decline in international support for refugees and host countries.

Safadi and Yoshimasa reaffirmed their support to the principle of sharing international burdens and responsibilities towards refugees. They also discussed the joint efforts of the two countries in organizing the 2022 Global Refugee Forum, which aims to highlight the need to maintain sustainable support for refugees and host countries.

The two ministers also welcomed the continued strengthening of defense and security cooperation between the two countries, noting the importance of the first training course on the non-combat evacuation of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces, which was held in Jordan in December.

Safadi and his Japanese counterpart agreed to deepen cooperation in cybersecurity and combating terrorism, including through the Aqaba meetings.

The two ministers also welcomed academic cooperation between the two countries, through cultural exchange programs between Jordanian and Japanese universities.

Safadi and his Japanese counterpart discussed several regional and international issues of common interest, including the Palestinian cause and efforts to resolve the Syrian crisis.

Safadi briefed his Japanese counterpart on the Kingdom's efforts to stop the deterioration in the occupied Palestinian territories, and to create a real political horizon, to re-launch serious and effective negotiations to achieve a just and comprehensive peace based on the two-state solution.

He called for stopping illegal Israeli measures that fuel violence and undermine the two-state solution, which represents the only way to achieve a just and comprehensive peace.

Yoshimasa expressed appreciation for the Kingdom's efforts to reduce escalation and find a political horizon to achieve a just and comprehensive peace. He undercored the importance of the Aqaba meeting the Kingdom recently hosted.

The Japanese Foreign Minister stressed the importance of the role of the Hashemite Custodianship over the holy sites in Jerusalem, saying: "Japan will continue to support efforts to achieve a just and comprehensive peace, including through the "Corridor for Peace and Prosperity" initiative.

Safadi underscored the importance of Japanese positions and efforts to reactivate the peace process, expressing appreciation for Japan's supportive stance to the two-state solution.

The two ministers exchanged views on the Syrian crisis, as Safadi briefed his Japanese counterpart on the Jordanian initiative aimed at finding a political solution to the Syrian crisis, according to a step-by-step methodology, through direct Arab-Syrian involvement.

The two ministers reaffirmed solidarity with victims of the recent earthquake in the Syria and Turkey by providing humanitarian aid and cooperating in the delivery of humanitarian aid.

Safadi said that the Kingdom will continue to send all available medical and relief aid to the two brotherly countries to help them face the repercussions of the earthquake, in implementation of the royal directives.

The two ministers also agreed to support regional cooperation, including trilateral consultations between Jordan, Japan and Egypt.

Safadi briefed Yoshimasa on latest developments related to the Jordanian-Egyptian-Iraqi trilateral cooperation mechanism, and the cooperation projects agreed upon by the three countries within its framework.

The two ministers discussed the Ukrainian crisis, its regional and international repercussions, and efforts to deal with it.

Safadi reaffirmed Jordan's position that calls for stopping the war and resolving the crisis in accordance with international law and the Charter of the United Nations, and the principle of respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states.

The Japanese Foreign Minister also also briefed Safadi on the situation in East Asia, including developments related to China and North Korea, and Japan's vision of a "free and open Indo-Pacific."

Safadi expressed the Kingdom's support for Japan in its efforts to resolve outstanding issues with North Korea, including the Japanese abductees issue.

The two ministers agreed to continue the meetings and to hold the fourth round of the strategic dialogue with the aim of strengthening the strategic partnership between the two countries and creating more prospects for cooperation.

They also agreed to continue coordination on regional and international issues of common concern, and to work together to achieve stability, security and peace in the Middle East.

Safadi thanked Minister Yoshimasa for the in-depth and fruitful talks they had, and for the kind hospitality he had during his official visit to Japan.

In addition, the Middle East Institute of Japan (MEIJ) hosted Safadi, in a panel discussion in the presence of Minister Toukan, the MEIJ president and members and political, diplomatic and academic figures.

Safadi highlighted Jordanian policies and positions regarding regional issues, and its efforts to achieve security, peace and stability in the region.

Safadi and Toukan met with Yamada Junichi, Executive Senior Vice President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), on ways to enhance cooperation prospects between the two countries in many fields.

Safadi valued JICA's continuous support to the economic and development programs that Jordan is implementing.

Toukan and Junichi discussed projects supported and funded by the agency in Jordan, and presented a number of economic, tourism and educational projects that the Kingdom and Japan could cooperate in implementing.

Safadi met with Secretary-General of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party,
Toshimitsu Motegi. The meeting covered the depth of the Jordanian-Japanese relations and discussed ways to enhance them in various fields and in a way that serves the common interests of the two countries.

The meeting also discussed regional and international issues of common concern.

Safadi and Toukan also held talks with Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Nishimura Yasutoshi, which focused on ways to enhance economic cooperation relations and explore new investment opportunities, in addition to steps that the two countries can take to increase trade exchange.

During the visit, Safadi met with Japanese Minister of Digital Affairs, Taro Kono, on opportunities to increase cooperation and exchange of expertise in communications, information technology, innovation and digital transformation, in a way that serves common development interests.

Safadi, accompanied by Minister Toukan, will continue his meetings with Japanese officials on Tuesday and he will talk to the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan about Jordanian-Japanese relations and the situation in the region.

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