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Prime Minister Visits the Middle East (Palestine)
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Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi arrived at Ramallah of the Palestinian Territories on the morning of July 13 (Japan time: evening of the same day). After attending the Welcoming Ceremony at the Presidential Office, Prime Minister Koizumi visited the Arafat Mausoleum, offering flowers to pray for the soul of the late Mr. Yasser Arafat who was the symbol of the Palestine liberation.
Prime Minister Koizumi thereafter held talks with Mr. Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Authority. During the talks, Prime Minister Koizumi supported President Abbas, who adheres to a policy of achieving peace through dialogue. He also announced assistance for the improvement of medical care, public health, and job creation in the region, and the strengthening of the function of the Presidential Office. Prime Minister Koizumi further proposed a four-party talk that includes Israel and Jordan, which was also agreed to in Israel, to discuss the Corridor of Peace and Prosperity, an initiative to set forth coexistence and co-prosperity in the region of the Jordan River Rift Valley. President Abbas agreed to the proposal.
In the afternoon (Japan time: night of the same day), Prime Minister Koizumi attended the unveiling ceremony to mark the reconstruction of the Presidential Office, whereby he laid a cornerstone of the building. Prime Minister Koizumi then held a joint press conference with President Abbas, before he moved to Tel Aviv in the late afternoon (Japan time: midnight of the same day) to leave for Jordan, the next destination of the visit.