US election World reacts

Singapore leaders congratulate Biden and Harris

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong with Mr Joe Biden at the Istana in 2013, when Mr Biden was US Vice-President. PHOTO: ST FILE

President Halimah Yacob, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat have sent their congratulations to newly elected leaders in the United States.

President Halimah congratulated President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris on their "victory in a hard fought election" in a Facebook post yesterday.

She called Mr Biden, who will be the 46th US president, a "good friend of Singapore". She also lauded Ms Harris, noting that she was "heartened" at her becoming "America's first female, black and South Asian Vice-President".

"This is the historic moment for women minorities in the US and around the world," she said, adding that Ms Harris was an inspiration to many young women.

Said President Halimah: "This latest appointment caps a high point for her. Yet she is humble and often attributes her success to the hard work of those who came before her."

In separate notes to Mr Biden and Ms Harris, PM Lee affirmed the shared interests and robust friendship that the US has with Singapore.

He said in his letter to the President-elect that many countries are looking forward to the global leadership of the US under the Biden administration, to work together and overcome challenges, especially the immediate crisis of the Covid-19 pandemic.

PM Lee highlighted the strong economic ties the two countries have, with the US-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, as well as Singapore's status as the US' largest trading partner in South-east Asia and its third largest Asian investor last year.

He also noted the close partnership in the area of security with Singapore as the US' only Major Security Cooperation Partner and the recently renewed 1990 Memorandum of Understanding that allows the US use of Singapore's military facilities.

"(This) underscores our support for the US' presence, which remains vital for peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific," said PM Lee.

DPM Heng congratulated the Vice-President-elect in a letter, noting that the win comes at a "critical juncture".

He said: "I look forward to meeting you in the near future to discuss how both sides can enhance bilateral cooperation and strengthen the United States' engagement of the Asia-Pacific."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 09, 2020, with the headline Singapore leaders congratulate Biden and Harris. Subscribe