PM Lee sends congratulations to new Australia PM Scott Morrison, thanks Malcolm Turnbull

Australia's new Prime Minister Scott Morrison addressing the media at a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, on Aug 24, 2018. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

SINGAPORE - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has sent a congratulatory letter to Australia's new Prime Minister Scott Morrison, and a valedictory letter to former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull.

In his letter to Mr Morrison on Sunday (Aug 26), Mr Lee said he looks forward to working with him to strengthen bilateral ties, and invited Mr Morrison to the next Singapore-Australia Leaders' Summit next year.

Mr Lee also said he welcomes Mr Morrison to Singapore, the Asean chair, for the 33rd Asean Summit and related summits in November.

"Singapore and Australia share excellent relations across the economic, defence and people-to-people spheres, underpinned by strategic convergence and historical links," Mr Lee said, adding that the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) has further enhanced the close relationship between both countries.

Mr Lee said he looks forward to strengthening the partnership between both countries with Mr Morrison, who has been a strong advocate for Singapore and Australia's bilateral relationship under his previous ministerial portfolios of immigration and border protection, and more recently as treasurer.

In a separate letter to Mr Turnbull on Sunday, Mr Lee said the former prime minister has been a good friend of Singapore and that he enjoyed working with him in strengthening bilateral relations.

Mr Lee expressed his gratitude for Mr Turnbull's strong support for the CSP, which initiated fresh partnerships and laid the basis for new and long-term cooperation between Singapore and Australia.

In thanking Mr Turnbull for his personal support for Australia's deeper engagement of Asean, Mr Lee said: "I have valued our candid and engaging discussions on issues of mutual concern, and our exchanges, formal and informal, on strategic developments at a time of flux and uncertainty."

"Our countries have cooperated closely to uphold shared vital interests, such as free trade, the open multilateral system and the international rule of law. Your bold leadership in giving new life to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership will be widely appreciated and remembered," Mr Lee wrote.

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