President Halimah to make Singapore's first state visit to Saudi Arabia

This will be Madam Halimah's first visit to the Middle East in her capacity as President of Singapore. PHOTO: ST FILE

KUWAIT - President Halimah Yacob will make a state visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from Tuesday to Friday (Nov 5-8), at the invitation of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. It is the first state visit to the Kingdom by any Singapore leader.

Before that, she will visit Kuwait from Sunday to Monday, at the invitation of Amir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah. It is Singapore's second state visit to Kuwait, after the late President SR Nathan made a trip in 2008.

This will be Madam Halimah's first visit to the Middle East in her capacity as President of Singapore. In her absence, Mr Eddie Teo, chairman of the Council of Presidential Advisers, will act as President.

Madam Halimah will call on Kuwait's Amir Sheikh Sabah, who will also host a lunch banquet for her. She will also have meetings with several senior Kuwaiti leaders.

Also on her Kuwait schedule is a visit to the Sheikh Abdullah Al Salem Cultural Centre, along with a meeting with Singaporean students studying here. Since 1980, Kuwait's Ministry of Education has been granting scholarships to Singaporean students to study at Al Mahad Al Dini High School.

In Saudi Arabia, Madam Halimah will call on King Salman, who will also host a lunch banquet in her honour. She will meet separately Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defence and other senior Saudi leaders.

Madam Halimah will also attend a reception with Singaporeans based in Saudi Arabia, and visit historical, cultural and religious sites in the cities of Riyadh, Jeddah, Makkah and Madinah.

A business delegation organised by the Singapore Business Federation and Enterprise Singapore will also be visiting Saudi Arabia in conjunction with the state visit.

The delegation will explore Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 opportunities, especially in information technology and infrastructure. Vision 2030 is the Saudi reform programme to develop its education, healthcare, infrastructure, recreation and tourism sectors, and prepare its economy for a post-oil era.

Madam Halimah will meet the delegation to discuss Saudi Arabia's business environment and market opportunities.

Accompanying her on the trip will be her husband, Mr Mohamed Abdullah Alhabshee; Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources and Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs; Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Koh Poh Koon; and Members of Parliament Foo Mee Har and Joan Pereira.

Her entourage will also consist of officials from the President's Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Trade and Industry, and Ministry for the Environment and Water Resources.

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