Japan, Egypt agree to cooperate on Afghanistan issue: FM Motegi

Amr Kandil , Monday 16 Aug 2021

Motegi said he shared with President Sisi and Shoukry concerns about the situation in Afghanistan

Sameh Shoukry
Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry (R) holds a press conference with Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi in Cairo. Egyptian foreign ministry

Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said on Monday that Japan has agreed to cooperate with Egypt, as an influential power in the Islamic world, to ensure that the recent developments in Afghanistan do not cause further unrest.

Motegi made the remarks in a press conference with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry after they met for talks in Cairo. Motegi also met earlier with Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.

On Sunday, the Taliban overran the Afghan capital Kabul, leading to the collapse of the government and the flight of President Ashraf Ghani from the country. These developments took place amid the US troop withdrawal from the country after 20 years of war.

Tens of thousands of Afghans have attempted to escape the city, with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken saying on Sunday that the Taliban’s takeover took place “more quickly than we anticipated.”

Motegi said he shared with President El-Sisi and Shoukry, during their Monday talks, Japan's concerns about the situation in Afghanistan.

The Japanese FM urged all concerned parties to work on restoring security and order and ensure that lives and property in Afghanistan are protected.

Suez Canal crisis

During the press conference, Motegi thanked the Egyptian government for resolving the issue of the container ship that was stranded in the Suez Canal earlier this year.

The ship, owned by Japanese firm Shoei Kisen, ran aground in the Suez Canal last March and blocked traffic in the international trade route for six days.

The container ship was let go from Egyptian waters last month after the Suez Canal Authority and Shoei Kisen signed a settlement agreement ending the legal dispute that arose from the blockage.

Motegi said Japan had contributed to developing the Suez Canal through various economic cooperation projects and is willing to boost cooperation in issues related to the Suez Canal.

Boosting cooperation, discussing regional issues

The Japanese FM said he discussed with Shoukry deepening cooperation between the two countries on the situation in the Middle East and the 8th meeting of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 8) scheduled for 2022.

Motegi hailed the efforts made by Egypt to achieve peace in the Middle East, affirming determination to continue cooperation with Egypt to establish peace in the region.

Motegi said he spoke with Shoukry about bilateral and regional issues, calling the discussions “effective.”

Shoukry affirmed the presence of promising opportunities to intensify economic cooperation between Egypt and Japan, based on mutual interests.

The Egyptian FM said he discussed with Motegi the Palestinian cause and the situations in Libya, Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

“[We affirmed] the necessity to continue coordination and joint work based on a joint vision between the two countries to achieve stability and defuse the crises,” Shoukry said.

The top Egyptian diplomat said he discussed with Motegi non-proliferation and global denuclearisation as well as supporting Japan’s endeavour in enhancing development efforts in Africa.

Shoukry also thanked Japan for its efforts to organise and host the summer Olympics this year, hailing the “achievements” made by Japan in this regard.

Short link: