Abe urges Abbas to return to peace talks

Hugh Fox
May 3, 2018

Abe is on a two-day trip to Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

"Abe is thinking about nothing but North Korea and he does everything that U.S. President Donald Trump likes", a source close to the prime minister said, indicating he needed to show indirect support for Washington by serving as a mediator between Israel and the Palestinians at a time when the situation surrounding North Korea is changing at a rapid pace.

On Tuesday Abe said that Japan has no plans to move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, according to Palestinian media reports.

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For the last four weeks, Gazans have staged mass rallies along the strip's eastern border to demand the "right of return" to their homes in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met Wednesday with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, reportedly telling his host that he still supports the Iran nuclear deal, despite Netanyahu telling him the accord was "based on lies".

The PMO's statement said the two leaders agreed that such flights would boost tourism and investment in both countries.

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Commenting on Israel-Japan ties, Netanyahu said "This is your second visit to Israel".

Abe added that "I brought a business delegation from Japan to Israel, which includes so numerous CEO's from Japan, so I do hope that you'll have a productive discussion with the business leaders in the summit meetings that we are planning to have".

Japan secured these visits because of its continued assistance from a neutral position, the source said, insisting that the realization of talks with Abbas was an achievement in itself. He is accompanied by his wife and a delegation of senior Japanese business leaders.

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Abe told Netanyahu that Japan supports a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a reference to the coexistence of Israel and a future Palestinian state.

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