News ID: 258033
Published: 0122 GMT August 30, 2019

Japan PM says will do everything to ease Mideast tensions

Japan PM says will do everything to ease Mideast tensions

Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo said on Friday he plans to do everything he can to ease tensions in the Middle East and wants to talk with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session that starts in September.

“Peace and stability in the Middle East directly link to Japan’s national interest,” Abe told a news conference at the end of a three-day international conference on African development, Reuters reported.

“I would like to work tenaciously, and play the best possible role to ease tensions in the Middle East.”

US President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of an international agreement on Iran’s nuclear program in 2015 and reimposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

Trump said on Monday he would meet Iran’s president under the right circumstances to end the confrontation over the nuclear deal, and that talks were underway to see how countries could open credit lines to keep Iran’s economy afloat.

But Trump ruled out lifting economic sanctions to compensate for losses suffered by Iran.

On Tuesday, Rouhani said Iran would not talk to the United States until all sanctions were lifted.

Japan, Washington’s closest Asian ally, has historically had friendly ties with Iran. Abe visited Tehran in June to try to ease tensions.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told Abe on Wednesday that Tehran is not seeking to increase tensions but every country should be able to enjoy its rights under international law.

Zarif made the comment in Yokohama, near Tokyo, at the beginning of a meeting with Abe.

“As our president has said, we are not at all seeking heightened tensions,” Zarif said.


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