• Kyodo

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Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi met Thursday night with Jordanian King Abdullah and obtained his support for a regional development plan for peace amid the escalating conflict in the region, Japanese officials said.

At the king’s palace in Aqaba, Koizumi was quoted as telling the king, “It is important to generate hope for regional development over the mid- to long-term precisely because it is such a difficult time.”

Koizumi outlined a Japan-proposed plan to promote agriculture in the Palestinian territories, and the king said he would offer full cooperation, the officials said.

The leaders agreed to set up a consultation body involving the four parties involved — Israel, the Palestinian authority, Jordan and Japan — to realize the plan, they said.

The plan focuses on creating a “corridor for peace and prosperity,” mainly by developing agriculture along the Jordan valley.

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