Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe arrives in Riyadh on first leg of Gulf visit

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrives in Riyadh's King Khalid International Airport and is received by Emir of Riyadh Prince Faisal Bin Bandar, among others. - SPA
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrives in Riyadh's King Khalid International Airport and is received by Emir of Riyadh Prince Faisal Bin Bandar, among others. - SPA

RIYADH – Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrived on Saturday in Riyadh on the first leg of his Gulf tour amid heightened tensions in the region.

Abe and his delegation were received by Emir of Riyadh Faisal Bin Bandar, and other senior officials including Economy Minister Muhammad Bin Mazyad Al-Twaijri, Saudi Press Agency reported.

During his five-day tour, Abe will also visit the United Arab Emirates and Oman, where a new ruler was sworn in on Saturday following the death of modern day Oman's founding father Sultan Qaboos.

"To avoid further escalation of the tense situation in the Middle East, (Abe) will exchange opinions with the three countries" he is visiting, Japanese government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said ahead of the visit.

"In each of the countries, we plan to ask for cooperation in ensuring a stable energy supply and the safety of vessels," he added.

Japan last month announced it would deploy a military vessel and two patrol planes to the region to protect its shipping interests.


During his visit to Saudi Arabia, Abe is expected to meet with Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense.

According to reports, the Japanese PM is expected to visit the historical site of AlUla. — SG with input from agencies


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