Japanese FM stresses friendship, exchange of views with Iran

TEHRAN, Aug. 14 (MNA) – The Japanese FM, who is scheduled to visit Iran in the next few days, stated that Japan can openly exchange views with Iran by taking advantage of its long-standing friendship with the country.

The Japanese FM Toshimitsu Motegi made the remarks in his interview with the Saudi newspaper, Asharq Al-Awsat.

He will reportedly start his tour around the Middle East by Egypt and will also pay a visit to Iran.

"During my visit to the Middle East, I will openly confer on different issues with the Arab countries and also discuss ways to improve the situation in Syria," he said, "I will discuss ways to improve the situation in Syria and, consequently, the stability of the whole region."

Asked about the role of Iran and Japan, he said, "Japan is in a position to use its long-standing and traditional friendship with Iran to openly negotiate with the country."

Motegi continued that, "When former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe traveled to Iran during the escalation of tensions in the Middle East, he directly called on the Leader of the Islamic Republic to reduce tensions and stabilize the situation."

"Since then, there has been mutual communication at the level of senior officials and foreign ministers, and since I took office as Foreign Minister, I have had six direct conversations with the Iranian FM [Zarif]."

As he informed, Japan intends to work closely with regional countries, including Saudi Arabia and Iran, to take an active part in reducing tensions and stabilizing the Middle East.

Abe, the former Prime Minister of Japan, met with Ayatollah Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, on June 13, 2019.

The Leader of the Revolution welcomed the Japanese Prime Minister’s suggestion of expanding relations between Japan and the Islamic Republic of Iran, and reminded his audience: Japan is an important country in Asia, and if they are willing to expand relations with Iran, they should prove their sincere willingness-- just as some important countries have shown their interest.

Motegi will meet with his Iranian counterpart in Tehran in the middle of this month and will discuss issues such as the Iranian nuclear issue with the new administration, Japan Times reported in early August. 

Motegi’s visit to Iran is expected to be part of a 10-day trip to the Middle East, which will likely also take him to Egypt and Turkey, the Japanese newspaper added.

This will be the first visit of a high-ranking Japanese official to Iran since the visit of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Tehran in June 2019.

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News Code 177322

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