Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, currently chair of the G7, said was willing to go to Moscow, or to invite Putin to Tokyo for talks, because Moscow’s help over crisis in the Middle East is very important, Joinfo.ua reports with reference to Japan Today.
“We need the constructive engagement of Russia,” Abe told. – “I believe appropriate dialogue with Russia, appropriate dialogue with President Putin is very important.”
Russia counts Iran and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad among its strongest allies in the Middle East, and Moscow—which also holds a permanent veto-wielding seat on the UN Security Council—is seen as a powerbroker in the region.
The G7 group of advanced economies consists of the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States. It formerly included Russia under a G8 configuration, but Moscow was evicted following the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.
Abe also said that “as the chair of the G7” he would consider a visit to Russia “at the appropriate time”, which could be interpreted as meaning ahead of the G7 summit in May.
The remarks came after Abe said on January 4 that the international community must encourage Russia’s participation in the global fight against terrorism, the crisis in Syria and relations with Iran.
Abe at that time also renewed his call on Putin to make progress on a territorial dispute with Tokyo dating from the closing days of World War II.
Japan and Russia have never signed a peace accord due to the territorial row over four Japanese islands seized by Soviet troops at the war’s conclusion.