Shanmugam to visit Qatar and Iran to strengthen ties

Sinagpore's Foreign Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam will set off for the Middle East on Sunday, Feb 23, 2014, as part of a five-day regional tour. -- ST FILE PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Sinagpore's Foreign Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam will set off for the Middle East on Sunday, Feb 23, 2014, as part of a five-day regional tour. -- ST FILE PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE'S Foreign Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam will set off for the Middle East on Sunday as part of a five-day regional tour.

Mr Shanmugam will first arrive at Qatar to meet his counterpart, Dr Khalid bin Mohammed Al Attiyah, said a statement by Singapore's Foreign Affairs Ministry on Saturday.

He will also call on the Emir, His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, as well as Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, the statement said.

This visit is aimed at strengthening Singapore's relations with members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

Singapore in Dec 2008 signed a comprehensive free trade agreement with the GCC, which comprises Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Following his visit to Qatar, Mr Shanmugam will make a stop in Iran at the invitation of his counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif. He will also call on President Hassan Rouhani and other Iranian leaders in the capital, Teheran.

Mr Shanmugam will also travel south to the city of Isfahan to meet local leaders.

Both stops are Mr Shanmugam's introductory visits to the countries as Foreign Affairs Minister, the statement added.