PM Abe meets Saudi King Salman

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has told Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz that Japan will make every diplomatic effort it can to stabilize the situation in the Middle East.

Abe also explained that Japan's dispatch of Self-Defense Force aircraft and a destroyer to the region is designed to gather information to ensure the safety of ships with ties to Japan.

The two leaders met in a palace in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, on Sunday. It was their third summit and the first since March 2017.

At the start of the talks, King Salman said he is glad that cooperation between the two nations has been strengthening in various fields.

The King said he hopes bilateral strategic partnerships will deepen in energy and many other areas.

Abe said 2020 is a historic year as Saudi Arabia will host the Group of 20 summit in Riyadh and Japan will hold the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

The two leaders agreed to work together to make those events successful.

Abe praised Saudi Arabia's reform efforts, calling them necessary to stabilize the Middle East. He outlined his stance of fully supporting the reform programs by accelerating cooperation in a wide range of fields, in addition to energy.

With the King describing Japan as an important partner in promoting the reform agenda, the leaders agreed to continue improving bilateral cooperation.