PM Lee congratulates India's Narendra Modi on re-election

PM Lee congratulates India's Narendra Modi on re-election

Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (right) shakes hands with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Istana in Singapore on Jun 1, 2018. (Photo: REUTERS/Edgar Su)

SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong congratulated his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on his re-election on Thursday (May 23), and invited him to visit Singapore again.

Mr Modi claimed victory earlier in the day, as Election Commission data showed his Bharatiya Janata Party heading for a landslide win over the party led by Rahul Gandhi. 

In a letter to Mr Modi, Mr Lee said: "The strong mandate reflects the results of your first term and the consequent trust that the people of India repose in your leadership.

"That the elections were conducted peacefully and smoothly despite the huge logistical challenges is also remarkable."

Mr Lee added that Singapore appreciates the focus Mr Modi has placed in developing the bilateral relationship with Singapore. 

“Your steadfast support has helped to catalyse more extensive cooperation across many areas. The elevation of relations to a Strategic Partnership in 2015 boosted cooperation in defence, culture and the people-to-people sector,” he wrote. 

“Our relations are already very substantial, but we should do more to exploit our complementarities, tap the reservoir of goodwill between the two countries and peoples, and fully realise the potential for enhanced cooperation including in the fintech and digital space.”

Mr Lee added that Singapore welcomes India’s deepening engagement with ASEAN and the region, in line with Mr Modi’s Act East policy. 

"I know you share my conviction that India and ASEAN can do much more together, to bring mutual benefit and prosperity to our peoples," he said, adding that he looks forward to working to Mr Modi on the progress made. 

Mr Modi was in Singapore last year on a three-day official visit, and Mr Lee invited him to visit again. 

“I know you have many domestic priorities, but when your schedule permits, I welcome you to visit Singapore again," he said. 

Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong also extended his “warmest congratulations” to Mr Modi on Thursday. 

“This was a hard fought re-election campaign where your charismatic and decisive leadership made a clear difference.  

"The BJP has once again received a resounding mandate from the people of India. It reflects their trust and confidence in you and your team to lead India to even greater heights,” Mr Goh said in his letter.

Mr Goh said that Singapore-India relations remain “excellent” and added that given the uncertain and challenging geo-political environment and international economy, Singapore looks forward to advancing the cooperation between both nations especially in new areas such as Fintech and innovation.

Mr Goh concluded by wishing Mr Modi “the very best” for his second term.

Source: CNA/ec(gs)/zl