SINGAPORE: Singapore President Tan Keng Yam will make a state visit to India in two weeks to mark the golden jubilee of bilateral ties, a minister has said.
"President Tan Keng Yam will visit Delhi in two weeks' time where he will meet Indian leaders and continue to build on bilateral engagement between the two nations at the highest levels," Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew said yesterday.
India and Singapore celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations this year.
"India occupies a special place in Singapore's history. 50 years ago, in August 1965 when we became independent, India was one of the very first countries to establish diplomatic relations with Singapore," Lui said to some 1,000 diplomats and business community leaders at India's 66th Republic Day reception.
He also recalled India's pivotal role in Singapore's entry into the Non-Align Movement and the visit of Singapore's first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew to India in September 1966, which was one of his first official visits.
Lui underlined the strong ties between the two countries over the five decades.
"Our relations have progressed steadily and today we share broad base and multi-faceted bilateral ties. Our defence forces share strong ties. A long standing people-to-people link has continued to grow and flourish over the years," Lui said, who was guest-of-honour at the Republic Day reception hosted by the High Commissioner of India Vijay Thakur Singh.
Lui also recalled the high level of engagement between the two countries and official visits made by Ministers from both the countries in last year.
He highlighted Singapore's recent ventures into India which included Singapore's participation in the development of a smart capital city for Andhra Pradesh and Vistara, the venture between Singapore Airlines-Tata Group.
Yam, 74, is the seventh President of Singapore in office since 2011.