JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia—Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz have agreed to strengthen ties between the two countries in a range of areas, including security, energy and the economy.
The two met on April 30 and issued a joint statement that included plans to launch a security dialogue between foreign and defense officials of the two countries.
During the meeting, Abe said, "We want to expand Japan's ties with Saudi Arabia from energy to the fields of politics and security."
Salman said he agreed in principle.
In the security dialogue, the two countries will discuss anti-piracy and anti-terrorism measures for the safe maritime transport and stable supply of Middle Eastern crude oil to Japan.
In economic cooperation, the two agreed to promote Japan’s technical cooperation in such fields as renewable energy, nuclear power, agriculture and medicine.
Regarding the civil war in Syria, Abe and Salman criticized the serious violations of human rights in the country and agreed that the administration of Bashar al-Assad has lost its legitimacy.
Both expressed support for the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, a key anti-government movement in Syria.
Abe also spoke by phone with King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who is in ill health.
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