Saudi Arabia condemns ‘cowardly’ killing of Japan’s Shinzo Abe

Saudi Arabia on Friday blasted the “cowardly killing” of Japan’s former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, offering its deepest condolences to his family and praised Abe as a true friend of the Kingdom.

Citing a Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement, the SPA said Saudi Arabia acknowledged the important role Abe played as a leader internationally, and his “pivotal role as a friend of the Kingdom.”

The government authority also condemned and denounced the “cowardly act” against former Prime Minister and stressed the Kingdom’s solidarity with the people of Japan.

World leaders paid tribute to former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, after the political titan widely credited with reviving the nation’s economy and seen as a close friend by other major democracies, was shot to death.

Japan’s longest-serving premier was shot from about 3 meters (10 feet) behind during a campaign event in the city of Nara on Friday, ahead of a parliamentary election this weekend. The attack stunned a nation where political violence and guns are extremely rare.

Abe, 67, came from a conservative political dynasty and had a reputation as a deft political operator who maintained enduring influence after leaving office.

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud met the former Japanese Prime Minister in Riyadh in January 2020 during an official visit.

The duo reviewed cooperation in the fields of tourism, security of supplies, artificial intelligence and renewable energy, according to a SPA report.

Later, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman also held talks with Prime Minister Abe in the ancient desert city of AlUla focusing on the economic, trade, investment and cultural fields, including aspects of cooperation in accordance with the Saudi-Japanese Vision 2030, according to the SPA report.

Abe enjoyed traditional Saudi hospitality inside a Bedouin tent with the Crown Prince.

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