Published: Thu, May 03, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Abe urges Abbas to return to peace talks

Abe urges Abbas to return to peace talks

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas met Abe on Tuesday as part of the Japanese his Middle East tour, before which he has pledged "constructive" work on Israeli-Palestinian peace. Prime Minister will come back to Japan in the near future.

Mindful of the backlash from Palestinians over the United States' decision to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem, Abe told Abbas that Japan has no intention of moving its embassy there.

The leaders agreed to push forward on establishing direct flights between the two countries to boost tourism, investment and business, according to a statement from Netanyahu's office.

This week's visit to the Middle East by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was made to show indirect support for US diplomatic efforts toward regional peace, sources said. Abe brought a delegation of businessmen with him to Israel, including many CEOs, and said he hoped they would have fruitful discussions with Israeli business leaders leading to further growth in bilateral investment.

During the trip, Abe secured visits with leaders from both Israel and the Palestinian Authority, a rare feat for a foreign leader of a major economy. "My last visit to Japan was exceptional", Netanyahu said.

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Abe thanked Netanyahu for his hospitality and invited the prime minister to make a reciprocal visit in Japan in the coming year.

Abe added that "I brought a business delegation from Japan to Israel, which includes so numerous CEO's from Japan, so I do hope that you'll have a productive discussion with the business leaders in the summit meetings that we are planning to have".

After the meeting, Abe and Netanyahu met with senior Japanese business people. "This is a good partnership and we will strengthen it even more".

In January 2015 the Israeli government chose to strengthen economic ties with Japan, and in February 2017 a precedent-setting agreement was signed between the two countries to protect investments.

Netanyahu visited Japan in 2014 and Abe first visited Israel in 2015.

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