President Obama lauds "extraordinary relationship" with Singapore

Washington: United States President Barack Obama praised Singapore during his meeting with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Oval Office.

He said the US and Singapore have an extraordinary relationship and called PM Lee an outstanding partner on the international stage.

"Singapore is one of the most successful countries in the world. I think their progress and development over the last several decades has been an example for many countries around the world," said Mr Obama in opening remarks before a closed door meeting with PM Lee on Tuesday.

Outlining the deep economic and military cooperation between the two countries, Mr Obama said he would also continue to seek out "the advice and good counsel of Singapore" as the US continues it strategy of rebalancing towards Asia.

In turn, Mr Lee, being hosted by the Obama administration for the first time at the Oval Office, said that Singapore is happy to see the US putting greater emphasis on its relationship with Asia across many fronts including security, trade, culture and education, and that it wants to help deepen that engagement going forward.

"Singapore will do our part, what we can, to help America engage the region constructively, productively and in a way which fosters stability and prosperity for all the countries," said Mr Lee.