Australia's foreign minister updates PM Lee on reverse Colombo Plan

THE HAGUE - Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop called on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on the fringes of the third Nuclear Security Summit here on Monday and updated him on the new Colombo Plan scholarship.

Ms Bishop, who last met Mr Lee in October, shared with him the progress of the new scholarship to be given to thousands of young Australians to study in Asian universities and go on internships with companies in the region.

It is dubbed the "reverse Colombo Plan" in reference to the original Colombo Plan that gave more than 40,000 Asians, including Singaporeans, an Australian university education from the mid-1950s to the 1980s.

Singapore will host the first batch of Australian students next year.

Both countries also look forward to commemorating the 50th anniversary of bilateral relations next year, said Mr Lee's press secretary Chang Li Lin, adding that it was a good meeting.

Separately, the Israeli minister for intelligence, international relations and strategic affairs Yuval Steinitz also called on Mr Lee.

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