On Feb. 2, Foreign Minister Taro Kono met in Tokyo with former Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath, who was visiting Japan as special envoy of the Palestinian Authority (PA). Shaath asked Japan to participate in a new multilateral framework the PA aims to create for peace talks with Israel. The United States, the European Union, and other nations will also be involved. Kono responded in a forward-looking manner.
At their meeting over dinner, Shaath asked for Japan’s participation in the framework. “We would like to work toward peace in the Middle East using a multilateral framework. We would like Japan to participate,” Shaath said and delivered a letter from PA President Mahmoud Abbas. Kono responded, “Japan is ready to participate in a multilateral framework if one is set up to support the peace process.”
In an interview with the Mainichi Shimbun on Feb. 1, Shaath clarified that the United States, Russia, China, and South Africa among other nations have been approached about participating in the framework.