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Abe to cancel visit to Saudi Arabia

The Yomiuri Shimbun Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is considering canceling a visit to Saudi Arabia during a planned tour of the Middle East, according to government sources.

Abe initially planned to visit Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan during the Golden Week holiday period from late April to early May. Now instead of Saudi Arabia, the government is making arrangements to add Israel and Palestine to his itinerary.

The likely cancellation of the Saudi visit is the result of a failure to coordinate the scheduling with Saudi Arabia. Along with canceling the visit to Saudi Arabia, a leader of the Sunni Muslim world, Abe also plans not to include the Shiite power of Iran, which he had been considering paying a visit to, on his itinerary.

Abe’s visit to Israel and Palestine would be his first since January 2015. He plans to urge both parties to work toward Middle East peace amid mounting tension between them after U.S. President Donald Trump announced U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017. Speech

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