Saudi King: More international effort is needed to end Middle East crises

There is an urgent need to intensify international efforts to resolve crises in the Middle East, including the Palestinian cause and the Syrian and Yemeni wars, said Saudi King Salman on Monday, according to Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

The king, who is in Tokyo for the fourth leg of his seven-nation Asian tour, said: “Terrorism has become the greatest danger to the security of nations and peoples. We are major partners in fighting it, and we are in need of concerted global efforts and hard work to deepen the concepts of dialogue between the followers of religions and cultures, and enhance the spirit of tolerance and coexistence between peoples.”

The crises have affected negatively the region’s stability and development, impeding the growth of international trade and threatening energy supplies, he added.

King Salman made his remarks as he met with Shinzo Abe, Japanese prime minister, to discuss a wide range of topics. The king and Abe focused on ways to further strengthen strategic as well as economic bilateral ties.

Saudi Arabia and Japan agreed on a “Saudi-Japan Vision 2030” plan to bolster bilateral cooperation during the king’s talks with Abe at the premier’s office.

Abe and King Salman agreed to advance a new economic collaboration program on Saudi Vision 2030, said Setsuo Ohmori, charge d’affaires at the Japanese Embassy.

He added that the two sides also agreed to launch a feasibility study on setting up special economic zones in the Kingdom to attract Japanese investments by easing regulations and customs procedures.

Ohmori said Abe has sought the king’s support for the listing of Saudi Aramco on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. He said the king would meet Emperor Akihito of Japan on Tuesday at a lunch banquet before winding up the tour on Wednesday.

He added that scores of bilateral agreements signed on Monday.

King Salman said: “I express my happiness to be in your country with which we have had historical and economic relations. The Kingdom’s partnership with Japan in launching Saudi-Japanese Vision 2030 will strengthen the strategic partnership between our two countries.”

Abe said he welcomed the visit, considering it “historical and aimed at developing and enhancing relations and achieving more partnership and investments between the two friendly countries”.

The king and Abe attended the signing ceremony of memorandums of cooperation that included one on cooperation for the Saudi-Japanese Vision 2030 in the cultural field and another in the field of regulating the process of granting the citizens of the two countries visit visas.

The king also met Fumio Kishida, Japanese foreign minister, Hiroshige Seko, minister of economy, trade and industry, and Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike. They discussed economic, trade and industrial cooperation between the two countries.