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Abe bids farewell to U.S., Russian leaders 

All national dailies said Prime Minister Abe held teleconferences on Monday with President Trump and Russian President Putin and briefed them on the reason for his unexpected resignation. Abe was quoted as saying to the U.S. leader during their 30-minute conversation: “Japan-U.S. relations have become stronger than ever, as we have deepened mutual cooperation by visiting each other and speaking by phone so many times…. I assure you that my successor will be as committed as me to enhancing the bilateral alliance.” In reply, President Trump reportedly said he was sad to see his closest friend step down and urged him to rest and recover. Sankei alleged that the President told Abe three times: “You are special.”   


The papers said the President posted the following tweet after the meeting: “Just had a wonderful conversation with my friend, Prime Minister Abe Shinzo of Japan, who will be leaving office soon. Shinzo will soon be recognized as the greatest Prime Minister in the history of Japan, whose relationship with the USA is the best it has ever been. Special man!” 


During a 20-minute teleconference with Russian President Putin, Abe explained his impending resignation and called for the continuation of bilateral peace treaty talks by resolving the Northern Territories dispute. “I expect that robust negotiations on a peace treaty will continue,” Abe was quoted as saying. The Russian leader reportedly agreed with Abe, noting that he “highly appreciated” the contributions made to bilateral relations by Abe, whom he called a “reliable partner.”  

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