Irish Taoiseach Micheal Martin meets PM Lee Hsien Loong, DPM Lawrence Wong

Meeting between PM Lee Hsien Loong (right) and Taoiseach of Ireland Micheál Martin, on July 22, 2022. PHOTO: MCI
PM Lee Hsien Loong with Irish Taoiseach Micheal Martin at the Istana on July 22, 2022. PHOTO: LEE HSIEN LOONG/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong met Irish Taoiseach Micheal Martin, who is on a two-day visit to Singapore, at the Istana on Friday (July 22). The Taoiseach is the Irish Prime Minister.

The leaders discussed domestic and global developments, including the war in Ukraine and its impact on global energy markets, particularly renewable energy, said PM Lee in a Facebook post on Friday.

He added that they addressed areas for further cooperation, such as trade and investment, green growth, food security and climate change.

The two countries have maintained diplomatic relations since 1974, with Ireland opening its embassy here in 2000, PM Lee noted.

"We are in very different parts of the world, but we are both similarly small countries in our own regions relying heavily on foreign trade for our living," he wrote.

"I look forward to our countries working together in these areas and more."

In a statement on Friday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Mr Martin also met Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong.

They reaffirmed the importance of upholding a rules-based multilateral system.

They also discussed the challenges of climate change and rising food and energy prices, and agreed that there was room for further cooperation in areas such as sustainable development and low-carbon solutions, the ministry added.

In a statement on Friday, the Department of the Taoiseach said this is the first visit by a Taoiseach to Singapore since 2014.

It added that the prime ministers also had an exchange on the death penalty and LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) rights.

The Taoiseach also attended a business lunch hosted by Irish agencies including Enterprise Ireland, investment agency IDA Ireland and food agency Bord Bia, and was to attend an Irish community reception before leaving Singapore on Friday evening.

On Friday morning, he also visited the Changi Chapel and Museum. His uncle Philip Martin, who was with the British Royal Engineers, was a prisoner of war (POW) at the Changi prison camp for more than three years during the Japanese Occupation.

The museum contains exhibits on what happened at the Changi prison camp during World War II. The names of POWs held at the camp have also been digitised, and Mr Martin viewed his uncle's name on a display screen.

Mr Martin wrote in the museum's guest book: "Thank you for a most informative and insightful guide of Changi. It was a most moving and emotional experience particularly to see my uncle Philip's name on the screen. History and archives are so important."

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