The statement commented that the historic visit was expected to open a new page in the history of Saudi-Japanese relations. Reviewing a number of issues of mutual interest, the two sides expressed concern at the impasse faced by the Middle East peace process. They underlined the importance of realizing a just, comprehensive and durable peace based on the principles of the Madrid peace conference and in particular that of land for peace, as well as on the existing agreements and the relevant UN resolutions. The two sides called for the implementation of all agreements, and reiterated their opposition to unilateral procedures that might have an adverse impact on the final negotiations pertaining to the issue of Jerusalem. They urged resumption of negotiations on the Syrian-Israeli track and on the Lebanese-Israeli track, and implementation of UN Resolution 425 pertaining to Israeli withdrawal from South Lebanon.
The two sides expressed deep anxiety over the decision of the Iraqi government to suspend its cooperation with the United Nations Special Commission and the International Atomic Energy Agency, urging the Iraqi government to comply with the relevant UN resolutions, including 1194. They expressed sympathy with the Iraqi people, intimated satisfaction at UN Resolutions 986 and 1153 as meeting the humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people, and confirmed their desire for preservation of Iraq's independence, sovereignty and unity.
The two sides welcomed the open and moderate policy of Iran under the leadership of President Mohammed Khatami, which has paved the way for the improvement of Iran's relations with its neighbors and with other countries.
Expressing concern at developments in Afghanistan, the two sides underscored the importance of realizing peace and stability there based on a broad base of national reconciliation. They also expressed anxiety over escalation of tension along the Iranian-Afghan borders and urged Iran and Afghanistan to practice self-restraint and settle their dispute through dialogue and peaceful means. The two sides support the efforts being exerted by the UN and its envoys for containment of the dispute.
Reiterating the importance of cooperation for carrying out reform at the United Nations, the two sides support the proposed reform of the Security Council, provided that it does not affect its function or its role as stipulated in the UN Charter. The Saudi side expressed support of Japan's request for a permanent seat on the Security Council.
The two sides underlined the importance of a firm stand against the phenomenon of terrorism, irrespective of its sources and causes, and called for unified international work to combat terrorism, saying that the UN can play a significant role in this. They also gave attention to ongoing efforts to eliminate weapons of mass destruction from the Middle East, calling on all countries which have not yet signed the Treaty of Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons to do so.
Crown Prince Abdullah and Japanese Prime Minister Obuchi hoped that the new areas of cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Japan in the spheres of health, science, technology, culture, sports, investments and joint projects, as stipulated in the declaration of comprehensive partnership that is included in the Program for Cooperation, will be followed up by the governments and private sectors in the two countries.
The two sides expressed their shared view to continue cooperation in the areas of commerce and investment, underscoring the important role in enhancing bilateral relations that can be played by investment projects. They reiterated their concern to conclude a bilateral agreement to encourage and protect investment, and welcomed what has so far been accomplished in this respect within the framework of dialogue between Saudi and Japanese businessmen, expressing the hope that positive developments would take place in this respect. The Japanese side expressed support for the admission of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the World Trade Organization.
The two sides underscored the importance of stabilization of the world petroleum market, and the Japanese side expressed appreciation for the balanced role being played by the Saudi Arabia in this respect in its capacity as a reliable source for petroleum supplies to international markets, including the Japanese market. The two sides underlined the importance of cooperation for promotion of commercial exchange and investments in the field of petroleum. In view of the expected increase in demand for petroleum in the region of Asia and the Pacific, the two sides expressed readiness to review aspects of cooperation in this respect.