Japan PM tells Jordan king he aims for strategic partnership

Visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has told Jordan's King Abdullah II that his country hopes to upgrade its ties with the kingdom into a strategic partnership.

Abe told the monarch on Tuesday that "Jordan's stability is indispensable for regional stability" and that Japan will provide as much aid as possible to ensure the country's economic and social stability. The Japanese prime minister was accompanied by a delegation of business leaders.

He said he hoped to "dramatically develop our bilateral ties."

Jordan, a key Western ally, has struggled with a sluggish economy, including rising unemployment, in the wake of regional conflicts, including in neighboring Syria and Iraq. The fighting next door has severely disrupted Jordan's trade.

Abdullah told Abe that he hopes to develop trade ties between the two countries.