Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks to journalists at at Prime Minister's office Friday, April 27, 2018, in Tokyo. Abe praised the talks Friday as a "forward-looking move." He told reporters in Tokyo that he expects North Korea to take concrete actions toward denuclearization through its planned talks with the U.S. (Shin Kigeuchi/Kyodo News via AP)
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit the UAE on Sunday 29 April for meetings aimed at strengthening economic ties. Shin Kigeuchi / AP

Japanese leader's visit to UAE aims to strengthen economic ties



Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to arrive in the UAE on Sunday on the first leg of his Middle East tour.

Mr Abe will hold talks with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and will participate in an economic forum focused on diversification and innovation in the UAE. The forum will also seek to strengthen economic relations between the UAE and Japan.

"The Middle East is important to Japan from the viewpoint of energy security," Mr Abe said during a parliamentary meeting last week.

The visit to the UAE will be Mr Abe’s first in five years.

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Mr Abe's Middle East trip will look to enhance Tokyo's energy and security ties in the region. His itinerary also includes stops in Jordan, Palestine and Israel.

In Jordan, he will meet King Abduallah and Prime Minister Hani Mulki to discuss counter-terrorism and ways to enhance the Middle East peace process.

“Japan will promote positive relations between Israel and Palestine and will show our active involvement in seeking a resolution,”Japan’s chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga said in a press conference.

He will meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday and will also meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Mr Abe announced that Japan will contribute to the Middle East peace process by “providing aid for Palestinian economic independence.”

Mr Abe's first visit to Palestine was in January 2015.

A business delegation, made up of executives of the Mitsubishi Corporation, will also accompany the Japanese leader during his tour.

Meanwhile, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono arrived in Jordan on Friday to participate in peace talks.

The Foreign Ministerwill take part in talks on a "Corridor for Peace and Prosperity," established in 2006, alongside Jordanian, Israeli and Palestinian officials.

Mr Kono will also meet King Abdullah in Jordan, and will co-chair an Aqaba Process meeting on tackling terrorism and violent extremism.

Japan was one of the first countries to cultivate diplomatic relations with the UAE following the declaration of the union in 1971.

The biog

Age: 59

From: Giza Governorate, Egypt

Family: A daughter, two sons and wife

Favourite tree: Ghaf

Runner up favourite tree: Frankincense 

Favourite place on Sir Bani Yas Island: “I love all of Sir Bani Yas. Every spot of Sir Bani Yas, I love it.”

Results

5pm: Wathba Stallions Cup Maiden (PA) Dh 70,000 (Dirt) 1,000m, Winner: Hazeem Al Raed, Antonio Fresu (jockey), Ahmed Al Shemaili (trainer)

5.30pm: Handicap (PA) Dh 85,000 (D) 1,000m, Winner: Ghazwan Al Khalediah, Hugo Lebouc, Helal Al Alawi

6pm: Maiden (PA) Dh 70,000 (D) 1,400m, Winner: Dinar Al Khalediah, Patrick Cosgrave, Helal Al Alawi.

6.30pm: Handicap (TB) Dh 70,000 (D) 1,600m, Winner: Faith And Fortune, Sandro Paiva, Ali Rashid Al Raihe.

7pm: Maiden (PA) Dh 70,000 (D) 1,600m, Winner: Only Smoke, Bernardo Pinheiro, Abdallah Al Hammadi.

7.30pm: Handicap (PA) Dh 70,000 (D) 1,600m, Winner: AF Ramz, Saif Al Balushi, Khalifa Al Neyadi.

8pm: Maiden (PA) Dh 70,000 (D) 2,000m, Winner: AF Mass, Tadhg O’Shea, Ernst Oertel.

Diriyah project at a glance

- Diriyah’s 1.9km King Salman Boulevard, a Parisian Champs-Elysees-inspired avenue, is scheduled for completion in 2028
- The Royal Diriyah Opera House is expected to be completed in four years
- Diriyah’s first of 42 hotels, the Bab Samhan hotel, will open in the first quarter of 2024
- On completion in 2030, the Diriyah project is forecast to accommodate more than 100,000 people
- The $63.2 billion Diriyah project will contribute $7.2 billion to the kingdom’s GDP
- It will create more than 178,000 jobs and aims to attract more than 50 million visits a year
- About 2,000 people work for the Diriyah Company, with more than 86 per cent being Saudi citizens

Sweet Tooth

Creator: Jim Mickle
Starring: Christian Convery, Nonso Anozie, Adeel Akhtar, Stefania LaVie Owen
Rating: 2.5/5

Some of Darwish's last words

"They see their tomorrows slipping out of their reach. And though it seems to them that everything outside this reality is heaven, yet they do not want to go to that heaven. They stay, because they are afflicted with hope." - Mahmoud Darwish, to attendees of the Palestine Festival of Literature, 2008

His life in brief: Born in a village near Galilee, he lived in exile for most of his life and started writing poetry after high school. He was arrested several times by Israel for what were deemed to be inciteful poems. Most of his work focused on the love and yearning for his homeland, and he was regarded the Palestinian poet of resistance. Over the course of his life, he published more than 30 poetry collections and books of prose, with his work translated into more than 20 languages. Many of his poems were set to music by Arab composers, most significantly Marcel Khalife. Darwish died on August 9, 2008 after undergoing heart surgery in the United States. He was later buried in Ramallah where a shrine was erected in his honour.