PA President Mahmoud Abbas with PM of Japan Shinzo Abe, Ramallah, January 20, 2015 .
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Visiting Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono invited Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to meet Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Tokyo, with diplomatic officials on Tuesday saying Netanyahu would agree if the US is invited to the summit as well.
“The Japanese are serious, and we will go anywhere any time” to meet Abbas, one official said.
“It is in the hands of the Americans,” the official added. “We want them to be involved in the process, and if they agree and go, we will have no objections.”
Following US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital earlier this month, the Palestinians said Washington was no longer an “honest broker” and could not play a role in the diplomatic process.
The Walla website reported that Kono also extend an invitation to Abbas, and that the initiative by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe comes as Tokyo completes a decade of involvement in a joint Japanese-Israeli-Palestinian-Jordanian “Peace Corridor” project in the Jordan Valley. That project was launched in Tokyo in 2007.
Kono arrived in Israel on Monday and held meetings in Jerusalem and Ramallah over the last two days. He will now go to Jordan, Turkey and Oman on his third trip to the Mideast since becoming foreign minister in August. In addition to meeting Netanyahu and Abbas, he also met President Reuven Rivlin and Regional Development Minister Tzachi Hanegbi.