• Kyodo


Japan will fund a new water infrastructure improvement project in Jordan to help the country manage the influx of Syrian refugees, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Friday after a meeting with Jordanian Prime Minister Hani al-Mulki in Tokyo.

Abe said the ¥1.4 billion ($12.3 million) pledge for the project in the governorate of Balqa adds to Japan’s existing efforts to reduce the burden on Jordan’s infrastructure and public services caused by its acceptance of more than 1.3 million refugees from conflict-mired Syria, which lies to the north.

“Today, I again delivered the message that Japan will thoroughly support Jordan, which serves as the linchpin of peace and stability in the region,” Abe said at a joint news conference after the meeting.

“Jordan has made immense efforts in the challenges facing the Middle East, including the prolonged Syrian crisis, refugee issues, terrorism and extremism, not only for its own sake but for peace and stability in the region and the international community,” Abe said.

Al-Mulki said he and Abe agreed on the importance of joint action to tackle extremist ideology.

“Both our countries are determined to fight this evil epidemic on all fronts and dismantle the environment of despair on which terrorism thrives,” al-Mulki said at the news conference.

The leaders confirmed their ongoing commitment to working together on initiatives that foster regional stability, citing the Corridor for Peace and Prosperity development project that includes both Israel and the Palestinian territories along with Japan and Jordan.

Abe and al-Mulki also confirmed their countries will launch negotiations toward a bilateral investment agreement.

Al-Mulki was set to conclude his four-day visit to Japan on Saturday.

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