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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - RIYADH: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had a meeting with Saudi King Salman to exchange views on the regional situation on Sunday during his Middle East tour.
Abe is visiting the region in hopes of easing tensions between the United States and Iran.
In their 40-minute talks, the king expressed expectations that his country and Japan will deepen their strategic partnership in various fields, not only in the area of energy.
The two leaders confirmed their cooperation toward the successes of the Group of 20 meetings to be hosted by Saudi Arabia this year and the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.
Abe is believed to have explained that Japan’s dispatch of a vessel and aircraft of the Maritime Self-Defense Force to the Middle East is designed to strengthen information gathering to secure the safety of Japan-related commercial ships.
The day’s session was the fifth meeting between the two leaders since the start of Abe’s current administration in December 2012. At that time, King Salman was Crown Prince.
Earlier on Sunday, Abe met with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan and Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman.
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