Singapore's President Tan and PM Lee extend congratulations to India on its 69th Independence Day

SINGAPORE - Singapore's President Tony Tan Keng Yam and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong have written to their Indian counterparts to convey their congratulations on the occasion of India's 69th Independence Day, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Saturday.

Writing to Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, Dr Tan said Singapore and India had developed a "special relationship rooted in strong historical and cultural ties, and bolstered by close and growing cooperation in various sectors".

He said he and his wife had fond memories of the hospitality they had received during his state visit to India in February this year.

With both countries celebrating 50 years of diplomatic ties, he said he was confident that relations would continue to deepen.

Writing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mr Lee noted that India was among the first countries to recognise Singapore when it gained independence.

"India has come a long way since its independence in 1947. Through hard work, determination and visionary leadership, the Indian people have wrought a transformative change in the country.

"Today, we enjoy excellent relations and cooperation in ever-widening fields. I am heartened that both countries continue to forge close ties and linkages at all levels," Mr Lee said.