Genba discusses Iran with top Israeli officials

Kyodo

Foreign Minister Koichiro Genba discussed Iran’s nuclear program and other issues with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday evening, Foreign Ministry officials said.

Genba told Netanyahu about the circumstances in which Japan has been cooperating with European countries and the United States to reduce crude oil imports from Iran, highlighting the importance of working through “pressure” and “dialogue,” the officials said.

Netanyahu expressed appreciation for Japan’s efforts and said Israel does not want war, according to the officials. The prime minister also positively responded to Genba’s request to visit Japan at an early date, they said.

After Netanyahu’s father died Monday, Genba canceled an official meeting with the prime minister, but the two exchanged opinions for about 25 minutes when the foreign minister paid a condolence visit to Netanyahu, the officials said.

Earlier in the day, Genba met with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. On suspicions that Iran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons, Lieberman said all options are on the table, according to the officials.

Regarding Israel’s stalled negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, Genba requested that Israel completely freeze Jewish settlement activities in the occupied territories, saying they run counter to efforts by the international community, the officials said.

Lieberman was quoted as telling Genba that Israel has not been able to have direct talks with the Palestinian side, which he said is effectively split.