(JNS.org) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hosted his Singaporean counterpart, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, on Tuesday in Jerusalem.
“This is truly a historic occasion. I’m honored to be the first Israeli prime minister to welcome a prime minister of Singapore to our country,” Netanyahu said in his remarks before his meeting with Lee.
“Today we are anchors of stability and strength in our respective regions. And we are working together in many fields, diverse fields, including water management, biotechnology, and we’re going to talk on this visit about intensifying our cooperation in cyber-security,” added Netanyahu.
In his remarks, Lee noted that it was his first trip to Israel since 1977, when he was a young military officer, and that he was “very happy to be back here again after all these many years to thank you (Netanyahu) personally, and to thank Israel for your help and support over the years.”
“We are very grateful to Israel that when independence was thrust upon us in August 1965, and when Singapore’s security and survival were in doubt, you helped us. The IDF helped us to build up the Singapore Armed Forces when other countries turned us down,” Lee said.
According to the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office, the two leaders discussed bilateral cooperation in cyber-security, economic matter, and trade.
“We have a long and deep relationship between Singapore and Israel. Our business-to-business ties are strong. Israel is the second-largest contributor of foreign direct investments in Singapore from the Middle East, and we admire your technical prowess and ecosystem,” Lee said.
Lee is the first Singaporean prime minister to visit Israel since Singapore was founded 51 years ago. The two countries established diplomatic relations in 1969. Lee was accompanied on his trip by his wife as well as a 60-member delegation that includes Singapore’s foreign minister, environment and water resources minister, and home affairs minister.