SINGAPORE: President Tharman Shanmugaratnam and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong have written to India’s leaders, congratulating them on the country’s 75th Republic Day, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said on Friday (Jan 26).
Republic Day marks the adoption of India’s constitution and the country’s transition to a republic.
In a letter addressed to President Droupadi Murmu, Mr Tharman recalled his last visits to India as Senior Minister in 2022 and 2023.
“Singapore and India share a long and warm partnership, underpinned by close people to people ties and strong cooperation in a multitude of fields,” he wrote.
He also congratulated Mrs Murmu on the successful conclusion of India’s G20 presidency, highlighting that Mr Lee, Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong and other ministers had attended various G20 meetings in the country.
Singapore, along with India, co-hosted the inaugural ASEAN-India Maritime Exercise in May 2023, and this was a reflection of the “deeper engagement” both sides have enjoyed under the upgraded ASEAN-India Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, Mr Tharman added.
“I look forward to continuing to work with you to further strengthen ties between our two countries,” he wrote.
In his congratulatory letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mr Lee said that “Singapore and India enjoy a deep and longstanding friendship”.
This friendship, he added, was underpinned by “wide-ranging cooperation in trade, finance, defence, and close people-to-people ties”.
Mr Lee also said he was glad to have met Mr Modi at the G20 Summit in New Delhi last September.
“Under your leadership, India skilfully navigated a multitude of contentious issues to successfully conclude the G20 New Delhi Summit with a consensus Leaders Declaration,” he added.
Through the India-Singapore Ministerial Roundtable, both countries are exploring collaboration in new areas like food security, sustainability, upskilling and digitalisation.
Mr Lee also touched on the PayNow-Unified Payments Interface linkage Singapore and India jointly launched in February 2023 and that it had seen a “steady uptake of users”.
“This has made cross-border transactions safer and faster for businesses and individuals on both sides,” he wrote.
Mr Lee said that both countries have also cooperated well in ASEAN and “Singapore welcomes India’s deepened engagement of the region”.
“As country coordinator for ASEAN-India relations, Singapore will maintain the momentum in ASEAN-India relations following its upgrade to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in 2022,” he added.
Both Mr Tharman and Mr Lee concluded their messages with well-wishes to their respective counterparts.
Source: Channel News Asia