Japan has no plan to move embassy to Jerusalem

Saeb Erekat

Concluding a two-day visit to Jordan on Tuesday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe tweeted yesterday that "Jordan has played a core role in the stability of the region for many years, including the acceptance of Syria refugees".

Abe also urged Israel to refrain from building new settlements in Palestinian territory.

Mindful of the backlash from Palestinians over the United States' decision to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem, Abe told Abbas that Japan has no intention of moving its embassy there.

"The US can not be a mediator or partner in the peace process unless it withdraws its recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel", Erekat stated, according to the Palestinian Authority's official news agency, "because it makes no sense for Palestine to be without East Jerusalem as its capital".

The Japanese leader affirmed his country's support for a political process based on the principle of a two-state solution and its readiness to contribute to any effort to achieve peace.

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"Japan regards Israel as a country full of talent, not just a state about technology, but humanity, art, and science, and I hope to increase the exchange of people between our two countries", Kono stated.

During their meeting in Jerusalem, Abe was set to talk about Middle East peace and relay Japan's commitment to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Japanese officials said before their talks.

The Japanese Prime Minister is going to visit a Jericho on Wednesday to inspect the agro-industrial zone as part of the Japanese Peace Corridor project.

The remarks echoed statements he made while in Jordan, where he met with His Majesty King Abdullah and held a joint press conference with Prime Minister Hani Mulki.

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