Japan pledges support for Mideast states battling ISIS

2015-01-17 14:29
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. (Kazuhiro Nogi, AFP)

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. (Kazuhiro Nogi, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cairo - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned on Saturday that the world would suffer an "immeasurable loss" if terrorism spreads in the Middle East and pledged about $200m in non-military assistance for countries battling ISIS.

The threat of Islamist militancy has come into sharp focus outside the Middle East after gunmen killed 17 people in three days of violence in Paris that began on 7 January with an attack on the offices of a newspaper that had published satirical images of the Prophet Mohammad.

ISIS controls large parts of Opec oil producer Iraq and neighbouring Syria, has declared a caliphate and wants to redraw the map of a region vital for Japan's energy needs.

"It goes without saying that the stability of the Middle East is the foundation for peace and prosperity for the world, and of course for Japan," Abe said in Cairo in the first leg of a regional tour.

"Should we leave terrorism or weapons of mass destruction to spread in this region, the loss imparted upon the international community would be immeasurable."

Highlighting his concern, Abe told a meeting of the Japan-Egypt Business Committee that Tokyo would provide non-military financial backing for countries fighting the al-Qaeda breakaway group, also known as ISIS.

"I will pledge assistance of a total of about 200 million US dollars for those countries contending with ISIL, to help build their human capacities, infrastructure, and so on," said Abe.

'No shortcut'

Stability has remained elusive in the Middle East since the Arab Spring uprisings toppled veteran autocrats and raised hopes of democracy and economic prosperity.

"There is no shortcut to nipping violence in the bud. There is no way other than bringing stability to people's livelihoods and fostering a middle class, even if it takes time," Abe said.

In addition to the $2.2bn in assistance Japan pledged for the Middle East two years ago, Abe said his government would provide another $2.5bn in non-military assistance in fields such as humanitarian assistance and infrastructure.

Abe's tour will also include Jordan, Palestinian territories, Lebanon and Turkey.

"The Middle East ... that's the region endowed with great possibilities," he said. "And yet now it appears to be no exaggeration to say that the region is exposed to a challenge that is among the most serious in its modern history."

The Japanese leader stressed the need for economic growth in the Middle East, where militants often try to exploit frustrations with issues such as unemployment and neglected schools to gain recruits.

Security crackdowns alone have failed to defeat militancy in Egypt, the most populous Arab country, and other states as well.

Japan will provide Egypt with $360m in loans for projects including an airport and a power grid in a country suffering from an energy crisis, Abe said.

"These are intended to contribute to Egypt's development, and by extension, to widening the foundation for stability across the entire region," he added.

Read more on:    isis  |  japan  |  security

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.