Osaka, June 30 (Jiji Press)–Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe explained his country’s efforts to help ease tensions over Iran, at a meeting on Sunday with Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, which is sharply at odds with Tehran.
At the meeting, held in the western Japan city of Osaka, Abe and Mohammed bin Salman agreed to continue close Japan-Saudi cooperation for peace and prosperity in the Middle East. They met after the two-day Group of 20 summit in Osaka, chaired by Abe, ended its two-day run on Saturday.
During his visit to Iran in mid-June, the Japanese leader held separate meetings with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The Saudi crown prince is suspected to have been involved in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last October. But the issue was not a topic at the Sunday meeting between Abe and Mohammed bin Salman, according to a Japanese government official with access to the talks.
Abe and the Saudi crown prince confirmed bilateral cooperation for the success of next year’s summit among the 20 major advanced and emerging economies, to be held in Saudi Arabia.
Mohammed bin Salman said Saudi Arabia, which is set to succeed Japan as G-20 chair in December this year, is ready to work in cooperation with Tokyo for the interests of the entire international community.
Abe emphasized that the Japanese public and private sectors will work to further promote the Saudi-Japan Vision 2030, under which Japan helps Saudi Arabia reduce its heavy dependence on oil exports for revenue.
Noting that the two countries traditionally have a strong bilateral relationship, the Saudi crown prince said that his country hopes to continue expanding its cooperation with Japan in a wide range of sectors.