The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia And Japan issued a joint communiqué following talks between Crown Prince Sultan, Deputy Premier, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General, and Japan's Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in Tokyo today.
Crown Prince Sultan is currently on a state three-day visit to Japan starting from Wednesday at an invitation from Koizumi.
Crown Prince Sultan was given a red-carpet welcome at the airport where he was received by Japan's heir apparent Narohito and by Emperor Akihito at the royal palace, and held official round of talks with Koizumi earlier today.
Following today's talks, the two sides issued the following communiqué:
They recalled previous visits by senior Saudi and Japanese visits which boosted bilateral exchanges between the two countries.
They said the celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries considerably contributed to enhancing bilateral relations.
They expressed determination to work together for further advancing the prosperous relations between them.
Realizing that the crown prince's current visit constitutes a historical chance to set up a strategic partnership between the two countries, the two sides signed a memorandum of understanding on political consultations between the foreign ministries of the two countries.
They expressed mutual desire to enhance strategic dialogues at all levels, including the economic, cultural, environment, air transport and high-level political dialogues.
The two sides noted with satisfaction the recent economic developments and commercial activities between the two countries. In this regard, the Japanese side congratulated Saudi Arabia on joining WTO. It also welcomed the opening of a commercial attach office in Tokyo.
Referring to a $9. 8 billion joint petrochemical project between Sumitomo Chemical Co. And Saudi ARAMCO called Petro-Rabegh, Sharq Petrochemical project and other giant projects, the two sides noted the considerable increase in joint investments between the two countries.
They also lauded the achievements of the Saudi Japanese business council.
To further boost economic relations, they agreed to first: activate discussions on ways to encourage joint investments and readiness of the two countries to resume negotiations to reach a bilateral agreement to encourage and protect investments and second: welcome the launch of negotiations on concluding a free trade agreement between Japan and the gulf cooperation council.
To prepare for the official talks, Japan and the GCC will hold preparatory negotiations in may, the statement said.
Saudi Arabia's deputy premier, Defense and Aviation minister and Inspector General, also pledged in the statement that the oil-rich nation will continue to be a stable supplier.
The two sides acknowledged the importance of enhancing bilateral cooperation through intensive dialogue in the field of energy, based on joint and complementary relations between Saudi Arabia, the world's leading hydrocarbon exporter, and Japan, a leading energy-tech producer.
They welcomed the patronage of the Custodian of The Two Holy Mosques for the opening of the international energy forum in Riyadh, underscoring the importance of the role of this forum in enhancing the transparency of the world oil market.
The Saudi side appreciates the technical assistance Japan is providing for the kingdom through the Japan agency for international cooperation JAICA. The two sides welcomed the successful Saudi Japanese high institute for vehicles as an ideal example of vocational training.
The two sides confirmed that joint understanding and respect of different cultures and civilizations is the firm base for a globalization-oriented world.
In this regard, Japanese side supported the call by king Abdullah for rejecting the notion of conflict of civilizations and replacing it by peaceful co-existence of all civilizations.
The two sides also underscored the importance of the Arab Japanese dialogue forum which already held three meetings, in Tokyo, Alexandria, Egypt, and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia respectively. The fourth meeting is scheduled for Tokyo in may 2006.
Other initiatives by Japan and Saudi Arabia, including King Saud University's program to teach Japanese language and the Tokyo-based Arab Islamic institute program to teach Arabic were praised.
The two sides stated that fair and comprehensive solution to the Arab Israeli conflict will considerably contribute to the stability and prosperity of the Middle East and remove the main source of tension and threat for international peace and security. They expressed support for a viable independent Palestine state. They emphasized the importance of King Abdullah's peace initiative adopted by the Arab summit in 2002 and the road map.
They also confirmed the importance of recognizing the results of elections held in January 2006 as a step towards building an independent Palestinian state according to un security council resolutions no. 242 and 338.
The two countries reiterated their support for the Iraqi people to achieve their aspirations for a better future, including Iraq's stability, territorial integrity, and national unity, equality among its sects and social segments and right for rehabilitation.
They agreed on the importance of comprehensive reforms of the untied nations. They also agreed to closely coordinate to help the Iraqi reconstruction efforts, according to the statement.
They appreciated the importance of bringing about peace and security in Afghanistan.
The two sides urged all member countries of the Middle East to adopt joint non-proliferation nuclear weapons agreements and make the Middle East a mass-destruction free zone.
They underscored the importance of supporting the diplomatic efforts aiming at preventing the spread of nuclear weapons and work towards reaching a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear question.
The two sides categorically rejected all kinds of terrorism and called for unity in the fight against the phenomenon and called on them to remain committed to enforce the 13 treaties and protocols pertinent to combating terrorism.
The Japanese side lauded the Saudi initiatives in fighting terrorism, including the anti-terrorism international conference held in Riyadh in February 2005. Japan took part in the event, the statement noted.
The two sides underlined the recommendations of the conference, including a proposal by king Abdullah bin Adularia to set up an international center for combating terrorism.
The crown prince during his talks with Koizumi reiterated Saudi Arabia's support for Japan's aspiration to become a permanent member of the u. N. Security council, the communiqué said. Japan appreciated this support, the statement added.
Crown prince sultan expressed his thanks to and appreciation of the Japanese side for the warm welcome and generous hospitality accorded to him and accompanying delegation during the visit.