Vivian Balakrishnan holds bilateral meetings with Britain, Norway, India, EU

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini (right) receives a book from Dr Balakrishnan (centre), as Thailand's Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai looks on, during the meeting in Bangkok.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini (right) receives a book from Dr Balakrishnan (centre), as Thailand's Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai looks on, during the meeting in Bangkok.PHOTO: AFP

Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan held bilateral meetings on Thursday (Aug 1) with his counterparts from Britain, Norway and India, as well as outgoing European Union diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini.

The talks took place on the sidelines of the annual Asean Foreign Ministers' Meeting and other related meetings in Bangkok, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

At a meeting with new British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, Dr Balakrishnan congratulated Mr Raab on his appointment to the post last week and welcomed Britain's continued efforts to strengthen its engagement of Asean.

Both ministers reaffirmed the strong multi-faceted relationship between Singapore and Britain, and their mutual support for the Singapore-UK Partnership for the Future initiative, which was launched in January.

They also exchanged views on regional and international developments, and reiterated the commitment of both countries to free trade and the rules-based multilateral order.

During his meeting with Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Soreide, Dr Balakrishnan reaffirmed the excellent ties between Singapore and Norway, and exchanged views on regional and international developments. He also thanked Norway for its continued support for Singapore's observership in the Arctic Council.

At the meeting with Ms Mogherini, who is attending her last Asean meeting as the EU's foreign policy chief before her term ends in November, Dr Balakrishnan thanked her for her personal efforts in deepening ties between Asean and the EU, and Singapore and the bloc. He said he looked forward to her continued support for strengthening cooperation between the two regions.

Dr Balakrishnan also met India's External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, during which they reaffirmed the strong bilateral cooperation between both countries and emphasised the importance of stepping up regional economic integration. They also exchanged views on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, a mega trade deal Asean is negotiating with India and five other countries.