Premier, FM meet Japan’s top diplomat over ties, region

AMMAN — Prime Minister Hani Mulki on Tuesday met with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono and highlighted the strategic relations between Jordan and Japan, expressing the Kingdom’s appreciation for the technical assistance and support Japan extends in the humanitarian and economic fields.
Mulki reviewed economic challenges facing Jordan and the repercussions of the unstable regional conditions on the Kingdom, especially the Syrian crisis and the pressure it has placed on health, education, water and infrastructure, Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. 
The premier extended a request for Japan to establish, through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), a technological training centre in the Kingdom to offer training for job-seeking youth, suggesting that the centre be administrated by a Japanese company in cooperation with the local private sector. 
On Jerusalem, Mulki reaffirmed Jordan’s stance that refuses the US decision recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, stressing that the move is null and void and contradicts international laws.
In this regard, the prime minister outlined the Jordanian diplomatic efforts, under the leadership of His Majesty King Abdullah, to warn against the dangers of changing the historical status quo of the holy city. 
For his part, Kono commended the “distinguished” Jordanian-Japanese ties, stressing that Jordan is a major partner for Japan not only in economic issues but also in the political arena, especially that the Kingdom is a key player in the Middle East.
He expressed his country’s understanding of the magnitude of the burden the Kingdom is shouldering as a result of hosting refugees, noting the support Tokyo has extended to ease such a burden, such as funding water projects in northern governorates, where the majority of Syrian refugees have settled. 
The Japanese government, Kono added, has always encouraged the private sector to explore investment opportunities available in Jordan. 
Also on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi discussed with his Japanese counterpart developments in the Palestinian issue, the Syrian crisis and the war on terror, in addition to bilateral relations.
Safadi reiterated that the Kingdom considers the US decision as a breach of the international legitimacy resolutions, which label Jerusalem as an occupied city whose fate should be decided during negotiations over final-status issues. 
He also stressed that the world rejects Israeli unilateral measures that aim to change the legal and historical status quo of the holy city.
The minister briefed the Japanese official on the Kingdom’s efforts to protect the Muslim and Christian holy places in Jerusalem, underlining a recent statement by His Majesty that Muslims and Christians have eternal rights in the city.
A Japanese foreign ministry statement said that Kono’s visit to Jordan is part of a regional tour that also includes Israel, Palestine, Oman and Turkey between Sunday and Friday.
On his third visit, Kono will further implement policies announced previously within the context of support for Middle East peace, promote the initiatives of Japan towards stabilisation of the Middle East region and further strengthen multilayered cooperative relationships with the visited countries and regions.
Japan has announced its rejection of US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and relocate Washington’s embassy to the holy city.
Jordan Times
December 26, 2017