President Tony Tan off to biennale in Venice

Dr Tan being received by President of the Italian Senate Pietro Grasso at the Palazzo Giustiniani yesterday afternoon. It was the last of Dr Tan's official engagements over the past four days in Rome.
Dr Tan being received by President of the Italian Senate Pietro Grasso at the Palazzo Giustiniani yesterday afternoon. It was the last of Dr Tan's official engagements over the past four days in Rome.PHOTO: JOANNA SEOW

President Tony Tan Keng Yam met the President of the Senate of Italy Pietro Grasso yesterday and was given an official farewell by President Sergio Mattarella before leaving Rome for Venice on the next leg of his week-long visit.

Mr Grasso welcomed Dr Tan, who was accompanied by Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S. Iswaran and MPs Cheng Li Hui and Saktiandi Supaat at the 16th- century Palazzo Giustiniani, which houses the offices of the upper house of Italy's Parliament.

Dr Tan said at the meeting he welcomed greater inter-Parliament ties between Italy and Singapore.

Both men reaffirmed the excellent ties between Italy and Singapore and discussed ways to strengthen existing collaborations in areas such as scientific research, educational and cultural exchanges, and defence cooperation.

It was the last of Dr Tan's official engagements over the past four days in Rome, which included meetings with Mr Mattarella, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, and Commissioner of Rome Francesco Tronca, as well as a state banquet.

He also visited the Capitoline Museums, and had a chance meeting with three young Singaporeans who were touring Italy this week.

The red carpet was rolled out again at the Palazzo del Quirinale for Dr Tan at an official farewell ceremony yesterday afternoon.

Mr Mattarella presented Dr Tan with an official photo album of the state visit, and both presidents inspected a guard of honour.

Dr Tan and members of the Singapore delegation then travelled to Venice, where he will officially open the Singapore Pavilion at the 15th Architecture Biennale today.

Joining them on this leg of the state visit are Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim and ministry officials.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 26, 2016, with the headline 'President Tony Tan off to biennale in Venice'. Print Edition | Subscribe