SINGAPORE: Afghanistan will send senior officials to Singapore to attend programmes on topics such as public administration, urban planning and sustainable development under an agreement signed on Friday (Apr 7), Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said in a press statement.
The Memorandum of Understanding was signed during Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's working visit to Singapore. According to MFA, Mr Ghani is the first Afghan president to officially visit Singapore.
During his visit, Mr Ghani called on President Tony Tan Keng Yam and met with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana.
MFA said that Dr Tan and Mr Ghani reaffirmed the "friendly relations" between the two countries and agreed there was scope to further enhance bilateral cooperation and exchanges in areas of mutual interest.
Mr Lee and Mr Ghani also discussed opportunities for collaboration in areas such as public service training and anti-corruption measures, and exchanged views on national and regional developments, MFA said. They expressed support for the efforts by the international community in the reconstruction of Afghanistan, it added.
Both Dr Tan and Mr Lee expressed Singapore's willingness to share its development experience with Afghanistan, the ministry said, adding that almost 700 Afghan officials have attended capacity building programmes under the Singapore Cooperation Programme since it started in 1992.
Mr Ghani and his delegation were hosted to lunch on Friday by Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean.
Over lunch, Mr Ghani and Mr Teo exchanged views on developments in their respective regions and explored potential areas of bilateral and security cooperation between the two countries, MFA said.
Mr Ghani also received a briefing on Singapore's public housing policy and development at the Housing and Development Board and is due to speak about trade and investment opportunities in Afghanistan at a National University of Singapore dialogue before departing Singapore on Friday night.