WASHINGTON – Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will arrive in New York on Saturday (Sept 21) for a week-long working visit, during which he will meet United States President Donald Trump and address world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly.
The meeting between PM Lee and President Trump, announced by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in a statement on Friday, will be their fourth since Mr Trump took office in 2017.
PM Lee will head Singapore’s delegation to the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly and deliver Singapore’s national statement – a speech laying out its position on global issues – during the high-level general debate.
It will be his first time attending and addressing the annual forum of 193 countries since he became prime minister in 2004.
PM Lee will take part in a series of UN meetings, including the Climate Action Summit, and meet foreign counterparts on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.
In addition, PM Lee will host a reception for members of the Forum of Small States, an informal grouping of more than 100 small countries launched by Singapore in 1992.
During the visit, PM Lee will receive the World Statesman Award from the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, a New York-based interfaith organisation.
Past awardees include former British prime minister David Cameron and former Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
PM Lee will meet industry and financial sector leaders, as well as other prominent US personalities, and attend a reception with overseas Singaporeans, said the PMO.
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He has met the US President on two other occasions: once on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Hamburg in July 2017, and again when Mr Trump visited Singapore for his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in June last year.
They have also spoken on the phone four times in the past three years.
Conversation topics ranged from PM Lee congratulating Mr Trump on his election victory in 2016, to both leaders discussing close Singapore-US ties and response efforts to Hurricane Harvey in America in 2017. Mr Trump also thanked PM Lee for Singapore’s willingness to host the Trump-Kim summit in 2018.
PM Lee will be accompanied by Mrs Lee, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen and Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, as well as officials from the PMO and the ministries of communication and information, defence, and foreign affairs.
He will then make an official visit to Armenia from Sept 28 to Oct 1, the first by a Singapore prime minister to the Eurasian country.
In his absence, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat will be the Acting Prime Minister from Sept 21 to 30. Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan will act as prime minister from Oct 1 to 2.
LINK ORIGINAL: TheStraitsTimes