Prime Minister Shinzo Abe praised Jordan’s efforts to cope with threats posed by the Islamic State group and pledged a fresh grant aid worth more than ¥2 billion to help the country cope with its difficulties.
“We highly appreciate the role Jordan has played for peace and stability in the region,” said Abe during a joint news conference after a summit with King Abdullah II at the prime minister’s office in Tokyo on Thursday.
Abe cited Jordan’s efforts to address the threat posed by the militant group, which is also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), or Syria (ISIS), efforts to host Syrian refugees and other efforts to contribute to peace in the Middle East, Abe said.
Of the ¥2.4 billion grant, about ¥2.2 billion will be spent on rehabilitating and expanding water networks in the Balqa governorate in northwest Jordan, according to a joint statement issued by the two leaders.
Abdullah, who started his 11th visit to Japan on Tuesday, expressed his thanks to Japan, which is marking the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations with Jordan.
“Jordan is grateful for Japan’s continuous support, particularly as we cope with an unprecedented humanitarian refugee crisis,” Abdullah said. “We appreciate the announcements of a new grant assistance to Jordan, especially for the water sector,” he added.
Abdullah also reiterated that his country is committed to combating terrorism.
“Our meeting also provided an opportunity to discuss the collective threat . . . posed by terrorism,” he said. “Jordan is part of the international coalition to fight terrorism and is working very hard to combat extremist ideology.”
Abe said that Tokyo and Amman, as important partners in East Asia and the Middle East, renewed their commitment to further develop bilateral relationships in a broad range of fields such as peacekeeping, economy and culture.
“Japan will strongly support Jordan, which is confronted with difficult tasks,” Abe said.
As for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the two leaders expressed concern “regarding the recent increase in violence” and called on both sides to “return to negotiations to reach a final ‘two-state solution’ where Israel and a future independent Palestinian state live side by side in peace and security, based on the Arab Peace Initiative and relevant U.N. resolutions,” according to the joint statement.
“Jordan greatly respects the role that Japan has played to push the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” Abdullah said.
The Jordanian leader was to wrap up his visit, the first in four years, on Friday.
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