Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono pays visit to Al-Quds University, pledging continued support

JERUSALEM – In a move which signals the strong bond between Al-Quds University and Japan, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono made a historic visit to Al-Quds University and pledged to work to strengthen the working relationship between the Palestinian university and the Government of Japan.

‘Honored and happy’ to be at Al-Quds University, His Excellency Mr. Taro Kono told President of Al-Quds University Imad Abu Kishek he was deeply grateful to the efficacious utilization of funds and thanked Al-Quds University for its ‘able management.’

Japan has been contributing financial and technical support to Al-Quds University since the establishment of the Medical Complex. In 1998, Japan provided the Medical Complex with equipment. The Government of Japan also provided assistance in 2002 at the height of the second Palestinian uprising (Intifada) in which the Japanese Foreign Minister said Al-Quds University “managed to use this assistance effectively despite the difficult circumstances.” Currently, renovations are underway for the Medical Complex.     

“Al-Quds University represents a positive example of the assistance that the Government of Japan extends to the Palestinian people, and we thank you for using it effectively,” said His Excellency Minister Mr. Taro Kono following his meeting with the President of Al-Quds University. He also said the Japanese Government will provide more assistance and hopes it will be used in the ‘same effective way.’

“We remain committed to supporting the Palestinian people. Our support of Al-Quds University is an example of this commitment, and we shall remain committed to helping the University,” said the visiting Japanese Foreign Minister.   

President of Al-Quds University Imad Abu Kishek extended his deepest appreciation to His Excellency Mr. Kono, the accompanying Japanese delegation and the Government of Japan for “standing with the people of Palestine.”  

Dr.  Abu Kishek also told the Japanese Foreign Minister that Japan’s contribution has allowed Al-Quds University Medical Complex to “play a pivotal role in the improvement of the quality of health care in the occupied territories, which has for long been underserved and neglected.”

 “We cannot properly express what your being here means to us. We are honored to know that Al-Quds University has you as a friend. This is a sign of the strong strategic relationship between Al-Quds University and the government of Japan, one that continues to flourish,” said Dr. Abu Kishek.

The president also updated His Excellency Mr. Taro Kono about the services Al-Quds University continues to provide to the Palestinian people in Jerusalem and the rest of Palestine. He praised the ongoing efforts of the Japanese Ambassador to the State of Palestine Mr. Takeshi Okubo.

“I also wish to thank you for Japan’s support of Palestine and the just cause of peace in the region, as embodied by Japan’s recent vote in the United Nations,” the President of Al-Quds University said, referring to last Thursday’s UN General Assembly motion against the US’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. 

The visit concluded with Dr. Imad Abu Kishek giving His Excellency Mr. Taro Kono a brief about Al-Quds University enrollment, its programs, research and steady growth.  On his tour with Dr. Abu Kishek of the laboratories at Al-Quds University Medical facilities, the Japanese Foreign Minister expressed his admiration for Al-Quds University’s achievements.

Founded in 1994, the School of Medicine at Al-Quds University was the first to come to light in Palestine. The Medical Complex now holds the schools of Dentistry, Pharmacology, Health Professions, and Public Health, in addition to the various health services presented to the Palestinian community.

Al-Quds is a collegiate research university based in Jerusalem, Palestine.  Established in the late 70’s, Al-Quds remains the only Arab university in the city of Jerusalem. It currently offers 93 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, taught through its fifteen degree-granting faculties and institutes.

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