Japan to Expand Relations with Egypt and Support Its Reforms: Kono

Monday, July 2, 2018

By Khaldon Azhari

Tokyo - (PanOrient News) Japan is committed to supporting the efforts by the government of Egypt for achieving economic reform and sustainable development, Japanese foreign minister Taro Kono said.

“There is no doubt that Egypt is a political, intellectual and cultural center in the Arab world, and an important cornerstone for peace and stability in the Middle East and Africa,” said Kono at a reception on Monday in honor of the national day of Egypt.

At the event, held by the Egyptian embassy and attended by a number of Japanese officials, academics and diplomats, Kono said he was looking forward to meeting with Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shukri as well as the Grand Imam of al-Azhar, whom he has invited to Japan.

Kono said he planned to discuss the Middle East peace process and the Syrian crisis with the Egyptian foreign minister. With the Grand Imam, a prominent figure in Sunni Islam, Kono said he hoped to discuss “religious points” and countering violent extremism.

During a trip to Egypt in September, Kono took part in the first Japan-Arab political dialogue. In his speech, Kono thanked the Egyptian government for its support of the effort.

Kono also cited several examples of an expansion of bilateral relations between Egypt and Japan, including an education partnership, construction of the planned Grand Egyptian Museum, and Japan’s International Peace Cooperation.

Egyptian Ambassador to Japan Ayman Kamel said in his speech bilateral relations between his country and Japan are steadily advancing in terms of political, economic and cultural cooperation.

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