6/11/2018 1:22:18 PM
|written By : Team India Se|
US President Donald Trump met Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the presidential palace, the Istana, on June 11 ahead of a summit with the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Sentosa island on June 12.
Mr Lee and Mr Trump shared a warm handshake in front of cameras as they began their meeting.
Mr Lee posted this video of his meeting with Mr Trump on Facebook. He is flanked by Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam on his right and Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan on his left.
The Straits Times reports: Mr Trump arrived in his presidential state car nicknamed The Beast, from the Shangri-La Hotel, where he is staying, for the working lunch. He was accompanied by a convoy of more than 30 vehicles.
Thanking Mr Lee, Mr Trump said: "We have a very interesting meeting in particular tomorrow, and I think things can work out very nicely. But we appreciate your hospitality and professionalism and your friendship. Thank you very much."
Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan posted a photo of Mr Trump posing with a cake during their working lunch at the Istana. "Celebrating birthday, a bit early," he wrote.
Mr Trump will turn 72 on June 14.
Mr Trump, who arrived on Air Force One in Singapore on the night of June 10, earlier tweeted: "Great to be in Singapore, excitement in the air!"
Bloomberg reports: Mr Lee and Mr Trump were expected to discuss everything from summit preparations to the U.S.’s tariff threats. The meeting was Mr Trump’s only scheduled public event before the summit with Mr Kim.
While the summit reaffirms the US’ close ties with Singapore, Singapore officials have criticised Mr Trump’s efforts to reverse what he says are unfair trade practices. Earlier this month, Singapore’s defence minister said the US trade threats were as disruptive to the global order as China’s military deployments in the disputed South China Sea.
Mr Trump was joined at the meeting with Mr Lee by US officials including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and National Security Adviser John Bolton.
The Trump-Kim summit is expected to cost about S$20 million (US$15 million), Mr Lee told Singaporean media on June 10, with security costs representing about half the total.