Singapore, Australia celebrate elevation of ties

PM Lee leaving Australia's Parliament House with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull after his historic address yesterday. Mr Lee said the shared history, outlook and ethos between Singapore and Australia have formed the foundation of a "deep,
PM Lee leaving Australia's Parliament House with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull after his historic address yesterday. Mr Lee said the shared history, outlook and ethos between Singapore and Australia have formed the foundation of a "deep, long-lasting friendship".PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

Singapore and Australia celebrated the elevation of ties to a new level yesterday, as Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong received a warm welcome from Australia's Parliament.

In an address for which he received a standing ovation, PM Lee said the shared history, outlook and ethos between Singapore and Australia have formed the foundation of a "deep, long-lasting friendship".

Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull, speaking before him, had described both countries as "natural partners" with highly sophisticated, educated and multicultural societies and open economies.

The invitation to address Parliament was a special honour reserved only for Australia's closest partners.

Earlier, PM Lee and Mrs Lee were welcomed to Parliament House by Mr Turnbull and other officials, and with a 19-gun salute.

Speaking about the similar strategic interests and perspective that bind both countries, PM Lee cited their abiding commitment to establishing a "stable and orderly world, in which countries big and small can prosper in peace".

Mr Turnbull said "Singapore and Australia are at one in defending the rule of law and rejecting the proposition that might is right".

Both are also aligned in wanting to deepen ties between Australia and South-east Asia, the PMs said.

 

They added that the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) will further boost these ties.

Both PMs met yesterday, and will today witness the signing of four key agreements under the CSP.

Mr Turnbull, who also hosted PM Lee to lunch, said they were "of the same mind" on many issues, both economic and strategic.

In the evening, PM Lee planted a Wollemi pine tree at the Singapore High Commission in Canberra and met Singaporeans at a reception.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 13, 2016, with the headline 'S'pore, Australia celebrate elevation of ties'. Print Edition | Subscribe