Shii meets with five Arab ambassadors
March 13, 2015
Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on March 12 met with five members of the Council of Arab Ambassadors at the JCP head office in Tokyo. They exchanged views on peace in the Middle East and the abolition of nuclear weapons.
The five ambassadors are Waleed Siam (Palestine), Khalid Al-Muslahi (Oman), Samir Arrour (Morocco), Demiye Haddad (Jordan), and Mohamed Bencherif (Algeria).
Ambassador Siam, who chairs the council, offered his congratulations to Shii on the JCP’s major advance in the general election last year. He also expressed his sympathy in regard to the Japanese hostages who were killed by the extremist militant group IS. He invited Shii to the Arab Week events scheduled for next month.
Regarding Palestine’s efforts to obtain recognition as a state from the Japanese government, Shii explained the JCP’s position. He said that since the 1970s, the JCP has been stressing the need for Israel to withdraw from the illegally occupied lands and recognize the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination, including the building of their state, as well as the need for both Palestine and Israel to recognize each other’s right to exist. Noting that 138 countries have recognized the state of Palestine, Shii said that his party will continue to put pressure on the Japanese government to follow the lead of these countries.
He criticized Israel’s expansion of its settlements and its massive attack on the Gaza Strip, and called for the immediate withdrawal of Israeli troops from all occupied areas.
Regarding the militant group IS, the Arab ambassadors emphasized the importance to acknowledge that terrorism has nothing to do with Islam. Expressing his support for them, Shii said that in order to eliminate the root cause of terrorism, a just solution to the Palestine problem is essential.
The JCP chair mentioned that an Algerian diplomat will serve as a chair of the NPT Review Conference scheduled for April. He expressed his hope to increase cooperation between the JCP and the ambassadors in order to achieve the start of negotiations for a nuclear weapons convention and to organize an international meeting to make a nuclear-free zone in Middle East on the occasion of the 70th year of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Ambassador Siam in reply expressed his willingness to work together with the JCP in this regard.