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Japan welcomes Israeli pause in sovereignty declaration of West Bank

This file photo from 2017 shows the entrance of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tokyo. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The Japanese government welcomed on Friday Israel's agreement to suspend declaring sovereignty over the occupied West Bank as a result of normalization of diplomatic relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates in a U.S.-brokered deal.

    Calling the temporary halt of declaration of sovereignty a "positive move," Press Secretary Tomoyuki Yoshida said in a statement Japan "welcomes it as a first step toward easing of tensions and stabilization in the region."

    According to the press secretary, Japan also "appreciates" efforts by the United States, led by President Donald Trump, to broker the deal, announced Thursday. As part of the deal, Israel has agreed to suspend the annexation of areas of the occupied West Bank, according to Trump.

    "The Middle East peace issue should be resolved by negotiations between parties concerned and not through violence or unilateral acts," Yoshida said.

    He reiterated Japan's stance "to continue to support a two-state solution whereby Israel and a future independent Palestinian state live side by side in peace and security."

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