PM Lee congratulates Biden, Harris on US election victory

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·3-min read
PM Lee congratulates Biden, Harris on US election victory
Then US Vice-President Joe Biden (left) speaking to the press at the Istana alongside Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on 26 July 2013. (PHOTO: Reuters)

SINGAPORE — Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has congratulated Democratic Party candidates Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on their victory in the US election.

“Warmest congratulations on your election as the 46th President of the United States of America,” said Lee in a letter to President-elect Biden on Sunday (8 November).

“Americans have placed their trust in your vision and leadership. Likewise, many countries are also looking forward to the global leadership of the United States under your Administration as we work together to overcome the significant challenges facing the world, especially the immediate crisis brought by the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.

In a separate letter, Lee also congratulated Harris on her election as US Vice-President, noting that “Americans have placed their trust and confidence in you”.

Biden’s victory was declared early on Sunday morning by major news networks after he crossed the threshold 270 electoral votes in a close race against incumbent US President Donald Trump of the Republican Party.

Lee said that Biden, who served as vice-president under the Obama administration, is “no doubt already familiar with the US’ longstanding, multifaceted and robust partnership with Singapore”. He cited Singapore’s position as the US’ largest trading partner in South-east Asia and the US-Singapore Free Trade Agreement as some examples of both countries’ deep relationship.

“Our 1990 Memorandum of Understanding has supported the US’ use of Singapore’s military facilities and underscores our support for the US’ presence, which remains vital for peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific.

“Beyond the defence and economic spheres, we cooperate in many other new areas, including infrastructure development and cybersecurity, which advance our shared interests,” said Lee.

He also noted that the US has “many other friends and allies in the region” who welcome its strong commitment to the Asia-Pacific and that “significant strides”. “Significant strides were made in our relationship during your tenure as Vice-President, including the United States’ entry to the East Asia Summit and the appointment of its first Ambassador to ASEAN,” added Lee.

Lee also recalled Biden’s visit to Singapore in 2013, during which he said the latter had the opportunity to observe first-hand the breadth of the US-Singapore relationship. Also mentioned was the lunch Lee had with Biden when he visited Washington, D.C in August 2016.

“I look forward to working with you to deepen the partnership between our two countries and enhance the United States’ presence in the Asia-Pacific. You can continue to count on Singapore as a friend and partner,” said Lee.

DPM Heng congratulates Harris

Separately, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat congratulated Harris on her election victory.

“Your victory was hard-earned and comes at a critical juncture. I am confident that under your leadership, the United States will emerge from COVID-19 stronger, exercising its global leadership role in seeking collective solutions to the pandemic,” said Heng in a letter.

Citing Singapore and the US’ “deep and extensive partnership, with cooperation in the economic, defence and security spheres”, Heng said both countries also work closely on transnational security issues, including counterterrorism and cybersecurity.

“I look forward to meeting you in the near future to discuss how both sides can enhance bilateral cooperation and strengthen the United States’ engagement of the Asia-Pacific,” said Heng.

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