Japan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates should work together to de-escalate the tense situation in the Gulf, a Japanese foreign ministry official said on Monday, relaying comments by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
As part of a Middle Eastern tour, Abe met UAE leaders in Abu Dhabi on Monday after having been to Saudi Arabia on Sunday. He will head to Oman on Tuesday, whose ruler, Sultan Qaboos, died on Friday.
In Abu Dhabi, Prime Minister Abe was received by Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, at the Qasr Al Watan Palace and accorded an official ceremonial reception.
He added that Abe has met Iranian President Hassan Rouhani three times last year and maintains “very good contact” with US President Donald Trump.
Sheikh Mohammed thanked Abe for Japan’s “balanced policy” towards the Middle East, in a statement on UAE state media after their meeting.
Sheikh Mohammed said the UAE was willing to work with Japan and Saudi for regional stability.
Japan’s Cabinet last month approved the deployment of a warship and patrol planes to the region and on Friday ordered them to head to the Middle East to protect ships bringing goods to Japan.
They are for self-defense and have a mandate of “information collection,” the official said.