Netanyahu: Israel and Singapore are ‘kindred spirits’
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Netanyahu: Israel and Singapore are ‘kindred spirits’

In joint press conference with counterpart Lee Hsien Loong, PM praises two small nations that have become ‘global powers’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong speak at a press conference in Singapore, February 20, 2017. (Haim Zach GPO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong speak at a press conference in Singapore, February 20, 2017. (Haim Zach GPO)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his Singaporean counterpart Monday that Israel and Singapore are “kindred spirits.”

Speaking at a press conference with Lee Hsien Loong in the city-state’s Istana palace, Netanyahu extolled the successes of the two countries.

“I believe that Israel and Singapore are kindred spirits,” he said. “We’re small nations that have become in many areas global powers.”

The prime minister also said that by working together, the two countries could continue to greater success.

“I believe that our cooperation makes us even more successful, cooperation in every field,” he said. “We have a joint R&D fund that has already funded 150 projects for Israeli and Singapore companies working together in a variety of fields, and I think that the opportunities are vast.”

PM Netanyahu Meets PM of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met this morning with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and issued the following statement:"Thank you for the very warm welcome. I have to say that this is my first time in Singapore. I'm following in your footsteps. You visited Israel for the first time, an historic visit. And as we landed here, I was absolutely amazed, tremendously impressed. As much as you hear about Singapore's success, to see it physically is quite startling and it tells you the power of people, the power of ideas, the power of the potential or rather of talent unleashed. So first of all, I want to thank you for your very warm welcome to me, to my wife and to our delegation. I believe that Israel and Singapore are kindred spirits. We're small nations that have become in many areas global powers, and I believe that our cooperation makes us even more successful, cooperation in every field. We have a joint R&D fund that has already funded 150 projects for Israeli and Singapore companies working together in a variety of fields, and I think that the opportunities are vast. We live in a technological age. The future belongs to those who innovate. Israel and Singapore are innovation nations, and together we can bring more prosperity, more hope for our peoples and I think for beyond our peoples, for the neighborhoods in which we live. We value the diversity in our societies, we value the pluralism in our societies, and we have much to learn from each other. I asked, Prime Minister, to visit one of your housing sites because this is an issue that you have resolved in your own way. We'd like to learn from you, as we do in many, many other areas. And I must say that we find this relationship particularly productive and valuable to ensure our security and prosperity for our peoples in the future. So I thank you for this opportunity, and I look forward to many future visits from you and from the President and of course for Israelis to visit Singapore. We admire you and we treasure our relationship."Video: GPO

Posted by The Prime Minister of Israel on pirmdiena, 2017. gada 20. februāris

Netanyahu said that the two countries shared an aptitude for innovation and had the potential to make an impact also beyond their own borders.

“We live in a technological age,” he said. “The future belongs to those who innovate. Israel and Singapore are innovation nations, and together we can bring more prosperity, more hope for our peoples and I think for beyond our peoples, for the neighborhoods in which we live. We value the diversity in our societies, we value the pluralism in our societies, and we have much to learn from each other.”

Netanyahu said he was “impressed” to see Singapore for the first time.

“I have to say that this is my first time in Singapore,” he said. “And as we landed here, I was absolutely amazed, tremendously impressed. As much as you hear about Singapore’s success, to see it physically is quite startling and it tells you the power of people, the power of ideas, the power of the potential or rather of talent unleashed.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew at Istana presidential palace (Haim Zach/GPO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew at Istana presidential palace (Haim Zach/GPO)

The prime minister said that the two countries have much to learn from each other and would continue their strong relationship. He said that he was interested in learning about Singaporean innovations in housing.

“We’d like to learn from you, as we do in many, many other areas. And I must say that we find this relationship particularly productive and valuable to ensure our security and prosperity for our peoples in the future.”

Lee thanked Netanyahu for all the help that Israel had given to Singapore since its inception. He also stressed the importance to both nations of sharing knowledge and information. He said that many Israeli companies come to Singapore to get a foothold in the region and Singaporean students go to Israel to study.

Lee also spoke of his hopes for a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, saying his country views a two-state solution as “the only way to bring peace and security to both peoples and to the Middle East.”

He said that the conflict was “especially for Muslims, an emotional issue.” He explained that therefore it has a direct impact on Singapore which “is in South East Asia, surrounded by Muslim majority countries, and we ourselves have a significant Muslim population.”

Lee said that Netanyahu had “updated me on his reasons to be cautiously optimistic about things” and Lee expressed hope “for peace between Israel and Palestine.”

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