PM Lee starts week-long Mid-East visit

The week-long trip is PM Lee's first official visit to Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Territories.
The week-long trip is PM Lee's first official visit to Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Territories. PHOTO: MCI

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is in Jordan on an official visit, starting today.

He will then go to Israel on Monday and the Palestinian Territories on Wednesday.

The week-long trip is Mr Lee's first official visit to Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Territories, the Prime Minister's Office said in a statement yesterday.

"The visit will affirm Singapore's good relations with Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian National Authority, and underscore Singapore's commitment to support the capacity-building efforts of the Palestinian people," the statement added.

In Jordan, Mr Lee will be hosted to lunch by King Abdullah II. He will also meet Prime Minister and Defence Minister Abdullah Ensour, who will host him to dinner.

A meeting has also been scheduled with the Chief Adviser for Religious and Cultural Affairs, Prince Ghazi Bin Muhammad Bin Talal.

Mr Lee will meet Singaporeans studying in Jordan as well.

During his visit to Israel, he will call on President Reuven Rivlin and hold talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

He will also have discussions with Leader of the Opposition Isaac Herzog, and former Israeli president and Nobel Peace Prize winner Shimon Peres.

Mr Lee will meet leaders of major Israeli technology companies too, and visit the Hebrew University, where he will receive an honorary doctorate. He will also witness the signing of an agreement between the Hebrew University and Singapore's National Research Foundation to facilitate research collaboration in Singapore.

In the Palestinian Territories, Mr Lee will meet the Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority, Mr Rami Hamdallah, who will host him to lunch. While there, he will lay a wreath at the mausoleum of Mr Yasser Arafat, the first president of the Palestinian National Authority.

Mr Lee will be accompanied by Mrs Lee, Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli, Minister of State for Communications and Information and Education Janil Puthucheary, and MPs Liang Eng Hwa and Intan Azura Mokhtar.

During his absence, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean will be the Acting Prime Minister.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 16, 2016, with the headline 'PM Lee starts week-long Mid-East visit'. Print Edition | Subscribe