Syrian FM, Japanese Deputy FM Discuss Mideast Issues, Bilateral Relations
Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk Al Shara met on Sunday with Deputy Japanese Foreign Minister Seiken Sugiura to discuss the Middle East peace process, other regional developments and bilateral relations, said reports.
Sugiura told reporters following the meeting that he and Shara discussed “bilateral relations and economic cooperation.”
The Japanese official described the current situation in the occupied Arab lands as “very serious.”
Sugiura arrived in Damascus late Saturday, coming from Amman, on the third leg of a tour that has already taken him to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.
Japan is among the major donor states to Syria, financing a number of development projects in the fields of electricity, water, irrigation and agriculture.
The Japanese official, who will leave for Beirut late Sunday, is the first to visit Syria since the new Japanese government was formed last April.
During his talks with Jordanian Prime Minister Ali Abu Ragheb, the latter stressed that the Group of Eight (G8) industrialized nations could help "restore calm" to the Palestinian territories, said AFP.
"The countries of the G8, including Japan, can play an important role in re-establishing calm in the Palestinian territories and putting an end to Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people," said Abu Ragheb.
The Jordanian prime minister stressed the "need to deploy international observers...to put an end to the violence and allow a resumption of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations," a Jordanian source told the agency.
He called for "international action to ensure protection for the Palestinian people and put an end to the murders they face," the source said.
For his part, Sugiura expressed "Japan's interest in developing the situation in the region, particularly in the Palestinian territories," the same source added.
The Japanese official is on a regional trip embracing Egypt, Israel, the Palestinian territories, Lebanon and Syria – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)