SINGAPORE: President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong have written to Bahrain's leaders to express their condolences on the passing of Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa, the world's longest-serving prime minister.
Prince Khalifa, 84, died on Wednesday (Nov 11) in a hospital the United States.
The uncle of King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa, he had served as prime minister since independence from Britain in 1971.
In her letter to the king dated Nov 13, Mdm Halimah said she was saddened to learn of the passing of Prince Khalifa.
Calling him "a committed statesman who dedicated his life to serving Bahrain", Mdm Halimah said he played an integral role in modernising Bahrain and its economy.
"He was a good friend of Singapore and received many of Singapore’s leaders warmly during their visits to Bahrain. We were honoured to host His Royal Highness’ visits to Singapore in 1976 and 2003," she added.
"His Royal Highness shared the view that small states like Singapore and Bahrain should work closely together for mutual benefit."
Writing to Bahrain's new prime minister Crown Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Mr Lee said he extends his deepest condolences on behalf of the Singapore Government.
"During His Royal Highness’ long tenure as the first Prime Minister of Bahrain, he made significant contributions to the country’s development and modernisation," he said.
"Singapore appreciated his warm hospitality in hosting several Singapore leaders, including the late President S R Nathan, the late Minister Mentor Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Emeritus Senior Minister Mr Goh Chok Tong, during their visits to Manama.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with Your Royal Highness and the people of Bahrain during this time of mourning."