TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister KISHIDA Fumio on Monday held a summit meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan and the two leaders witnessed the signing ceremony for grant aid of 713 million yen (about $5.4 million) from Japan to Jordan for its “Economic and Social Development Program.”
Kishida later hosted a working dinner for the King, who is on an official visit to Japan with Queen Rania.
The documents for the grant aid were signed by Japan’s Foreign Minister HAYASHI Yoshimasa and Jordanian Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Zeina Toukan. The aid is for the provision of equipment for facilities to be built as part of the Aqaba Amman Water Desalination and Conveyance Project, according to the Japanese foreign ministry .
Jordan is one of the world’s most water-scarce countries, and its main water resource, groundwater, is rapidly being depleted, a factor not helped by the influx of approximately 1.3 million Syrian refugees in recent years, the ministry said. The cooperation between Japan and Jordan is expected to contribute to a stable water supply and efficient and effective use of water resources through strengthening the country’s water supply service system.
The two leaders discussed a wide range of bilateral issues and agreed to further expanding the scope of cooperation under the strategic partnership.
Prime Minister Kishida stated that Japan recognizes Jordan’s efforts to modernize its economy and finances, and will continue to support Jordan through various measures, including development policy loans and grant aid for the electricity, water and other sectors. He also expressed Japan’s desire to contribute to the urgent challenges facing Jordan, such as increasing investment from abroad and reducing unemployment.
King Abdullah expressed his deep appreciation for Japan’s consistent support for Jordan.
The two leaders also agreed to promote cooperation in the field of advanced technology, including digital, as well as other fields such as supply chains.
On security, Kishida touched on the Fourth Japan-Jordan Politico-Military Dialogue that took place in December last year and various exchanges between defense forces of both countries, and expressed Japan’s desire to further contribute to the peace and stability of the international community. In addition, the two leaders welcomed the agreement on launching a bilateral dialogue framework on cybersecurity.
Regarding Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, Prime Minister Kishida referred to his visit to Ukraine in March this year and stated the need for the international community to stay united in making the case that any unilateral change of the status quo by force is unacceptable anywhere in the world. The foreign ministry didn’t report any response from Jordan on that.
Kishida also spoke to the New Plan for a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP)” announced in March this year, and expressed his desire to continue to spread the importance of the FOIP vision.
The two leaders also discussed regional affairs in the Middle East. Kishida expressed his concern over the current tensions between Israel and Palestine, and appreciated the efforts made in the five-party talks involving Jordan, Egypt, the United States, Israel, and Palestine.
Kishida also stated that the role of Jordan and the Hashemite Custodianship over the holy sites in Jerusalem is extremely important and that Japan will also play its role by promoting its own initiatives, such as the “Corridor for Peace and Prosperity.”
King Abdullah explained Jordan’s efforts to prevent the aggravation of the situation in Palestine and to find a political horizon for the resumption of earnest negotiations toward the realization of a just and lasting peace based on a two-state solution.