Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte was in Singapore on December 15 to 16, to undertake a State Visit at the invitation of Singapore's President Tony Tan Keng Yam.

Accompanying the President on his first visit to Singapore were key members of his cabinet and other officials of the Philippine government. The State Visit of President Duterte was significant for both countries whose economic partnership has remained vibrant and resilient.

During the first day of the State Visit on December 15, President Duterte was given honors at a welcome ceremony at the Istana, which was followed by a call on President Tony Tan Keng Yam where both had a warm exchange of views on Philippine-Singapore relations. The leaders looked back to the almost 50 years of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Singapore. They affirmed that the two countries have come a long way and that it has been a smooth journey together. They also noted the mutual partnership both countries continue to share, which encompasses the exchange of leaders in both countries. They share the same view that there is no better way to go but to build on this achievement and further the ties.

President Duterte expressed his admiration to Singapore, how it was able to transform itself to first world country in just 50 years. He noted that Singapore continues to play a significant role in the development of countries in the region such as the Philippines.

President Duterte also met with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at Istana. The atmosphere of the meeting was very comfortable as the two are no longer strangers to each other. They had an introductory bilateral meeting at the side lines of the ASEAN Summit this year at Vientiane, Laos. The two leaders were pleased to have the opportunity this time around to have a more detailed discussion about the countries' relations.

After the meeting with Prime Minister Lee, President Duterte was hosted by President Tan to a State Banquet at the Istana. In his toast remarks, President Duterte expressed his gratitude to President Tan for the warm and generous hospitality extended to him and his delegation. He underscored that he came to Singapore with a singular purpose of reaffirming and renewing the friendship and cooperation between the Philippines and Singapore and that of their peoples.

Source: Republic of Philippines Department Of Foreign Affairs

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