Abe pledges $2.5 bln in non-military Mideast aid

Japan will also provide another $2.5 billion in non-military assistance in humanitarian assistance and infrastructure. (File photo: Reu

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged Saturday $2.5 billion in non-military aid for the Middle East as he launched a regional tour that includes visits to Jordan and Israel.

In a speech in Cairo, Abe also pledged $200 million in non-military assistance for states affected by ISIS's bloody expansion in Iraq and Syria, which triggered an exodus of refugees to neighbouring countries.

Speaking during visit to Cairo, Abe warned of the “immeasurable loss” the world would suffer if terrorism spreads across the Arab world, according to Reuters news agency.

"Should we leave terrorism or weapons of mass destruction to spread in this region, the loss imparted upon the international community would be immeasurable," Abe said in the Egyptian capital at the start of a regional tour.

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

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

Abe is to hold talks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi before heading to Jordan on his whistlestop six-day tour of the Middle East to pledge support for peace.

(With Reuters and AFP)

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:44 - GMT 06:44