Arab ambassadors to Japan released a joint statement condemning the murder of Haruna Yukawa by Islamic State militants and urging the immediate release of the group’s other Japanese hostage, Kenji Goto.
“The Council of Arab Ambassadors accredited to Japan would like to condemn in the strongest terms and express outrage over the brutal murder of a Japanese hostage committed by the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant,” said the statement, which was released on Tuesday.
The council, represented by 20 ambassadors and heads of mission from countries including Iraq, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority, declared their outrage that “such a barbaric act” was committed in the name of Islam and its noble values that prohibit “the killing of the innocent . . . and call for the protection of captives.”
The communique called for Goto’s immediate release so that he can “come back to his family and Japan safely.”
In announcing the joint statement in Arabic at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo, Waleed Siam, head of the council and the representative of the Permanent General Mission of Palestine, stressed that Arab countries are hoping for a prompt resolution to the hostage crisis, and support the Japanese government’s efforts to that end.
“We’d like to express sincere sympathy and solidarity with Japan,” Siam told reporters through an interpreter.
In a video from the Islamic State group released Saturday night, the militants demanded the release of Sajida al-Rishawi, an Iraqi would-be suicide bomber whose explosives failed to detonate during a coordinated attack on hotels in the Jordanian capital of Amman in 2005. Al-Rishawi remains in a Jordanian prison. The militant group said it would free Goto in exchange for her release.
“I assume the Jordanian government will make an effort for the release of the Japanese hostage with every possible measure,” the Palestinian diplomat said.
Siam also said that people in the Arab world regard Japan as a friendly nation that has provided much humanitarian and economic aid to the region, and its reputation won’t be affected by the current crisis.
Meanwhile, Siam repeated that the Islamic State group, which he referred to as Daish, is “utterly unacceptable” and is regarded by Arab nations as a radical terrorist organization.
“What (the Islamic State group) is doing has nothing to do with Islam. . . . It’s terrorism. We need to continue to fight against terrorism,” Siam said, calling for international unity and cooperation.
He also said the international community can help contain the extremists by making serious efforts to improve the dire conditions facing people in areas where the Islamic State group has been active.
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