Prime Minister Lee, thank you so much for your historic address to our Parliament yesterday, it was as warm as it was insightful. It highlighted the depth and the extent and the history of our strong relationship with Singapore. The economic ties, the strategic ties and, above all, it was the warmth of which you have pressed yourself, the firm bond of friendship between our two people.
Now this is the last day of your visit but I’m very pleased to say it’s going to finish on a high. We are about to gather for this meeting between the Singaporean and Australian Cabinet Ministers. And we’re honoured to be joined by your Minister for Trade, Mr Lim, and Minister for Defence, Dr Ng, the Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr Balakrishnan as well as Members of Parliament, Dr Lily Neo and Mr Zaqy Mohamed.
We are going to have a very open and characteristically frank and constructive discussion as we always do and after the meeting our Ministers are going to sign the first tranche of the historic agreements advancing the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
So you are very welcome and we are delighted to have you here in our Cabinet room.
PRIME MINISTER LEE:
Well thank you, Prime Minister, thank you very much for your very warm welcome yesterday and for the reception you gave me in Parliament.
We are signing the agreements after this when we meet, after we meet. But I think our relationship really goes beyond specific agreements and forms [inaudible] which we are developing.
I am very happy today, we have had a chance to meet with the [inaudible] here, and Ministers. In fact, we talk about many things beyond the formal bonds, our experiences together and how we can get to understand one another better and therefore we better prepared for the [inaudible].
So our relationship continues and thank you very much once again. I look forward to getting down to business.