Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is on an official visit to the United States from 31 July to 5 August 2016 at the invitation of President Barack Obama. The visit affirms Singapore’s close and longstanding partnership with the United States and provides an opportunity to renew and expand bilateral cooperation. It coincides with the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations, and is the first official visit to the United States by a Singapore Prime Minister since 1985.
Prime Minister Lee will be welcomed by President Obama at an official arrival ceremony at the White House South Lawn, followed by a meeting in the Oval Office. President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will host Prime Minister Lee and Mrs Lee to a State Dinner at the White House. Vice President Joseph Biden, with his wife Dr Jill Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry, will host a State Luncheon for Prime Minister Lee and Mrs Lee at the Department of State.
President Barack Obama listens during a bilateral meeting with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, while attending the APEC Summit in Singapore, Nov. 15, 2009. The last time Singapore's former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew visited the US for a state dinner was more than 30 years ago. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
US President Obama:'With Singapore’s partnership, the United States in engaging more deeply across South-east Asia and Asean, which is central to the region’s peace and prosperity. Singapore is an anchor for the US presence in the region, which is a foundation of stability and peace. Both our nations are committed to building a regional order where all nations play by the same rules and disputes are resolved peacefully and this visit will be an opportunity to continue deepening our cooperation on behalf of regional stability and prosperity.'
During the visit, Prime Minister Lee will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, followed by a visit to the Pentagon where he will be hosted to lunch by Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter. Prime Minister Lee will have separate meetings with Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan. The Prime Minister will speak at a reception jointly hosted by the US Chamber of Commerce and the US-ASEAN Business Council. Prime Minister Lee will also meet with Singaporeans at a National Day reception at the Singapore Embassy in Washington, DC.
Prime Minister Lee will be accompanied by Mrs Lee, Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan and Mrs Balakrishnan, Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S Iswaran, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Chan Chun Sing, Acting Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) and Senior Minister of State for Defence Ong Ye Kung, Members of Parliament Christopher de Souza and Rahayu Mahzam, and Nominated Member of Parliament Chia Yong Yong.
During the Prime Minister’s absence, Deputy Prime Minister and Co-ordinating Minister for National Security Mr Teo Chee Hean, will be the Acting Prime Minister for the period 31 July to 4 August 2016.
Left to right: Mrs Lee-Ho Ching, Mrs Michelle Obama, PM Lee, President Obama. (White House Photo)