Japanese Foreign Minister Invites Netanyahu, Abbas For Tokyo Mideast Summit

In this handout photo provided by the Israel Government Press Office (GPO), Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shakes hands with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during the funeral of former Israeli leader Shimon Peres on September 30, 2016 in Jerusalem, Israel. World leaders and dignitaries from 70 countries attended the …
Amos Ben Gershom/GPO via Getty

TEL AVIV — The foreign minister of Japan has reportedly invited Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to a four-way peace summit in Tokyo that could also be attended by Jared Kushner, the Trump administration’s point man on efforts to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

According to a report in the Times of Israel, Taro Kono, who was on a tour of the region, extended the invitations to Netanyahu and Abbas during separate meetings in Jerusalem and Ramallah.

A report by Israel’s Channel 10 said Netanyahu accepted the invitation but added that he would only attend if an American representative is also present.

“If Kushner is there, I will also be there,” Channel 10 quoted Netanyahu as telling Kono.

According to the channel, the proposal was first made to Netanyahu by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe when he met with Netanyahu in New York during the UN General Assembly in September.

“The Japanese are serious, and we will go anywhere any time” to meet Abbas, an Israeli official told the Jerusalem Post.

“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.”

The Japanese foreign minister, however, said that his country would not follow the U.S. lead on moving its embassy to Jerusalem.

Speaking in Jordan a day after his meetings with Netanyahu and Abbas, Kono told the Jordanian foreign minister that Tokyo would not relocate its diplomatic mission to the Israeli capital, according to the Times of Israel.

Kono was quoted by Jordanian news agencies as saying Japan continues to support the two-state solution.


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