Japanese Prime Minister hopes for peaceful end to Malawi political crisis

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday said he hopes there will be a peaceful solution to the current political impasse in Malawi.

Abe said this during a meeting with Vice President Everton Chimulirenji who was visiting Japan to participate in the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7) held from August 28 to 30.

Abe and Chimulirenbji

In Malawi, there have been protests led by rights groups and the opposition who are dissatisfied with the outcome of the May 21 presidential elections. The opposition are also in court challenging President Peter Mutharika’s victory in the elections.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Abe and Chimulirenji met for about 10 minutes, from 9:05 am on Friday.

Abe welcomed Chimulirenji and expressed his hope for strengthened relationship between the two countries and peaceful solution of the current political situation in Malawi.

The Prime Minister then conveyed his condolences over the devastation from Cyclone Idai in Malawi and mentioned Japan’s extending assistance for Malawi’s early recovery.

He also announced Japan’s intention to cooperate in alleviating traffic congestion and facilitating logistics as well as human resources development in Malawi, which is located along the Nacala Corridor and faces increasing traffic.

In his reponse, Chimulirenji thanked the international community, including Japan, for the support for the Cyclone recovery.

He also expressed his expectation towards cooperation in infrastructure and disaster prevention as well as the investment from Japanese companies. Additionally, he showed his high appreciation for JICA’s Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers.

The two sides also exchanged views on cooperation in international area and the North Korea situation.

Speaking after the meeting, Chimulirenji said Abe had shown interest in supporting projects that the Veep had presented to the Japanese Prime Minister.

“During the meeting, I asked him to consider supporting us in the construction of Mtayamoyo Bridge in Nsanje, and a dual carriageway in Lilongwe from Mchinji Roundabout to Lilongwe Police C Company.

“I also asked for the Japanese Government’s support to families that were affected by floods and natural disasters in Malawi and for continued support in other areas such as education, agriculture and health,” he said.

Meanwhile Chimulirenji is expected to arrive in Malawi today through Kamuzu International Airport.

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