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Remarks by President Obama and Prime Minister Lee of Singapore at Arrival Ceremony

South Lawn 

9:26 A.M. EDT

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Good morning, everybody.

AUDIENCE:  Good morning!

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Today, we welcome our friends from Singapore.  (Applause.)  We have some Singapore weather.  (Laughter.)  So you can appreciate that.  Singapore is one nation, with four official languages.  So let me just say good morning.  Selamat datang.  (Applause.)  Vanakkam.  (Applause.)   And ni hao.  (Applause.)  On behalf of Michelle and myself, on behalf of the American people, I am honored to welcome Prime Minister Lee and Mrs. Lee to the United States.  (Applause.)

This marks the first official state visit by a Singaporean Prime Minister in over 30 years.  It celebrates the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our two nations.  And it is a reflection of my friendship and partnership with Prime Minister Lee over the past eight years.  It’s an opportunity for me to repay the hospitality that the Prime Minister and the people of Singapore showed me when I visited Singapore during my first year in office.  We were there for the APEC Summit -- with its tradition of dressing in shirts that are somewhat colorful -- (laughter) -- a tradition that we will reserve only for those summits and we are not duplicating today.  (Laughter.)   

A half a century ago, when Singapore was an island of rural villages and crowded tenements, few would have imagined a day like today.  But Singaporeans pride themselves on being the “Little Red Dot” -- the little red dot on many maps, but with a very big impact on the world.  In less than a generation -- under the vision and stewardship of Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew --Singaporeans transformed their nation from Third World to First. They did this with almost no natural resources -- except one:  the people of Singapore and their commitment to education and to progress and to innovation. 

Our Singaporean friends say that, “A long road reveals the strength of your horse; a long time reveals the heart of your friends.”  I first saw the heart of the people of Singapore as a young boy, during my years living in Southeast Asia.  We see it now in the proud Singaporean-Americans who enrich our nation and who join us today -- including a lot of “uncles” and “aunties.”  (Laughter.)  We see it in all the Singaporean officers who attend [American] military academies -- more than the rest of Asia combined. 

We see our friendship in the collaborations between our innovators and entrepreneurs, from Silicon Valley to Singapore’s “Block 71.”  In fact, I understand that the Prime Minister himself recently wrote a program to solve Sudoku puzzles -- which Michelle will want.  (Laughter.)  Then the Foreign Minister stepped in and translated that program into JavaScript.  So I’ve got to start asking John Kerry to do that.  (Laughter.)   

Today, our friendship and shared interests bring us together in common pursuit of a common vision -- a peaceful and prosperous Asia Pacific and a more secure world.  As the United States has rebalanced our foreign policy to the Asia Pacific, Singapore -- and Prime Minister Lee, in particular -- have been solid-rock partners.  Singapore is an anchor of our presence in the region. We stand together for a regional order where every nation, large and small, plays and trades by the same rules.  And we stand together to meet the threats of the 21st century, from terrorism to the spread of disease to climate change.

In this work, we draw strength from our people, two societies built on multiculturalism and on merit.  In the United States, we call ourselves a “melting pot” of different races, religions and creeds.  In Singapore, it is rojak -- different parts united in a harmonious whole.  We’re bound by the belief that no matter who you are, if you work hard and play by the rules, you can make it.  What Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew once said of his country could be said of us -- both are populations of triers -- “prepared to try anything to improve themselves.  [We] have only the future to go in quest of.”

Prime Minister Lee, Mrs. Lee -- with our eyes focused on the future and united in our quest for the progress and security of our two peoples -- we welcome you to the United States of America.  (Applause.) 

PRIME MINISTER LEE:  Thank you. 

President Barack Obama and Mrs. Michelle Obama; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen; and Americans and Singaporeans who are here today:  Thank you very much for this very kind invitation.  I know it's a busy year.  I watched you on television last week, and Michelle, too.  And it’s an honor for Singapore to be received with such a warm welcome, especially as we celebrate 50 years of our diplomatic relations. 

The first official visit by a Singapore Prime Minister to the United States was in 1967.  President Lyndon Johnson received Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, our founding Prime Minister. 

Singapore was then newly independent.  We were struggling to build a modern economy with no means to defend ourselves in a turbulent Southeast Asia.  But Mr. Lee did not come to seek military or economic aid.  At the time, America was divided over the Vietnam War.  He came to take the measure of America’s moods and intentions.  He explained to his American friends why Asia mattered to America, and why the United States’ active engagement was important to millions of people living in Southeast Asia.  America’s presence helped to contain the spread of Communism, and gave non-Communist Southeast Asian countries the crucial security, time, and space to consolidate and to prosper.

Almost 50 years later, the world has completely changed.  The Cold War is long over, and the threat of Communism has disappeared.  Asia is at peace, though tensions are not entirely absent.  Southeast Asia has prospered, with countries cooperating peacefully as members of ASEAN. 

America’s endurance, policies and actions have contributed greatly to this current peace and prosperity.  Keeping your markets open to trade, deepening your partnership with ASEAN, and cooperating with countries in the region to enhance regional security, you have helped create the basis for a peaceful, rules-based regional and international order.

President Obama, the U.S. rebalance to Asia is an important affirmation of a longstanding policy of the United States, and has been warmly welcomed by all ASEAN countries.  Your efforts to build a constructive relationship with China will set the strategic backdrop for the whole region and beyond.  You have personally pushed for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, growing a small FTA that Singapore started, together with Chile, Brunei and New Zealand, into what will be a major trading group linking both sides of the Pacific.

I know that America has many preoccupations both at home and abroad.  Some Americans are anxious and frustrated with economic uncertainty and the uneven results of globalization, trade and foreign engagement.  But the U.S. has many interests, investments and friends in the region.  These strengthen the United States. 

Singapore fervently hopes that the U.S. will stay engaged and maintain its indispensable role in the Asia Pacific.  In particular, we hope -- and I’m sure the President shares this hope -- that Congress will ratify the TPP soon.  Not only will the TPP benefit American workers and businesses, it will send a clear signal, and a vital signal, that America will continue to lead in the Asia Pacific, and enhance the partnerships that link our destinies together.

Singapore’s own ties with the United States have remained steadfast through nine U.S. Presidents -- five Republican and four Democratic -- and three Singapore Prime Ministers.  We will maintain these bipartisan links with whichever party wins the elections in November.  We will continue to build and to deepen our economic and security relationships.  We are partners in tackling the scourge of ISIS and other forms of violent extremism.  Our armed forces take parts in exercises together, and interact regularly.

On this visit, President Obama and I will discuss expanding our already extensive cooperation to new areas, including cybersecurity and smart cities.  But our ties reach beyond the government offices and corporate boardrooms to the hearts and minds of our people. 

Thousands of Singapore students and people study and work in America, and thousands of U.S. companies operate out of Singapore.  The largest American curriculum school outside the U.S. in the world is in Singapore and is a Singapore-American school.

AUDIENCE MEMBERS:  Wooo!

PRIME MINISTER LEE:  And there are some alumni here, obviously.  (Laughter.)

In my many visits to America, I meet Singaporeans living in many different states, contributing in their own ways to their host country and their respective communities.  And I also meet Americans who have been to Singapore and tell me about their Singaporean friends and their favorite hawker food.  And I think many of them have met rojak, too. 

So I’m very grateful for this opportunity to renew our partnership on this 50th anniversary milestone.  And I look forward to having many more occasions and reasons to celebrate this special relationship together.

Thank you, President Obama.  (Applause.)

END 9:38 A.M. EDT

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U.S. VP Harris to visit Singapore, Vietnam in a fortnight - PM Lee

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Vice President Kamala Harris delivers virtual remarks to the National Bar Association at the White House in Washington

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Harris to visit Singapore, Vietnam, focus on economic ties

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Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during a meeting with women leaders on voting rights in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Friday, July 16, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris walk out to an event in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Monday, July 26, 2021, to highlight the bipartisan roots of the Americans with Disabilities Act and marking the law’s 31st anniversary. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during a meeting with Native American community leaders about voting rights together with Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, in the Vice President’s Ceremonial Office at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex, in Washington, Tuesday, July 27, 2021. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Vice President Kamala Harris listens during an event in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Monday, July 26, 2021, to highlight the bipartisan roots of the Americans with Disabilities Act and marking the law’s 31st anniversary. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Kamala Harris will visit Singapore and Vietnam next month on a trip focused on strengthening economic ties and celebrating America’s cultural connection with the Indo-Pacific region.

It will be Harris’ first overseas travel and second foreign trip, after she visited Guatemala and Mexico in June as part of her role leading diplomatic efforts to address the root causes of migration to the United States . And it will be the first time a U.S. vice president has visited Vietnam.

Harris will be the highest-ranking official from President Joe Biden’s administration to visit Asia. Her visit comes as the administration is working to counter China’s influence in the region and globally.

According to chief Harris spokesperson Symone Sanders, Harris will meet with the leaders of Singapore and Vietnam to discuss regional security, the coronavirus pandemic and climate change .

“President Biden and Vice President Harris have made it a top priority to rebuild our global partnerships and keep our nation secure, and this upcoming visit continues that work — deepening our engagement in Southeast Asia,” Sanders said Friday, adding that Harris would be “the first vice president to ever visit Vietnam.”

The Biden administration has placed an emphasis on strengthening diplomatic ties with nations in the Indo-Pacific region to push back against China. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is visiting the region this week , with a focus on offering support for Southeast Asian nations embroiled in territorial rifts with China.

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Official Visit of President Tharman Shanmugaratnam to the Italian Republic, 24 June 2024

25 june 2024.

President Tharman Shanmugaratnam made an Official Visit to Italy on 24 June at the invitation of President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella.

President Tharman received a ceremonial welcome at the Quirinale Palace in Rome, and called on President Mattarella. Both leaders reaffirmed the longstanding friendship between Singapore and Italy, and discussed how we could further strengthen our people-to-people ties through exchanges in arts and culture. They also had a good discussion on geopolitical developments and opportunities to strengthen multilateral and regional cooperation. Their meeting was followed by an official lunch hosted by President Mattarella for President Tharman and members of the delegation.  

President Tharman also had a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister of Italy Giorgia Meloni at the Chigi Palace. They discussed how both countries could explore ways to expand cooperation bilaterally, collaborate in international efforts such as in Artificial Intelligence regulation, as well as complement each other’s efforts in technical cooperation with third countries. They also discussed global and regional issues.

During the trip, President Tharman also met members of the Singaporean community in Italy at a reception in Rome on 23 June evening.  

President Tharman will travel to Tallinn for an Official Visit to Estonia on 25 and 26 June.   

.    .    .    .    .

MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

25 JUNE 2024

first us president to visit singapore

Photos Caption: President Tharman Shanmugaratnam with Italian President Sergio Mattarella

Photos Credit:  Ministry of Communications and Information

first us president to visit singapore

Photos Caption: President Tharman Shanmugaratnam with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni

  Photos Credit:  Ministry of Communications and Information

first us president to visit singapore

Photos Caption: Reception with Overseas Singaporeans

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is a ministry of the Government of Singapore responsible for conducting and managing diplomatic relations between Singapore and other countries and regions.

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US vice-president Kamala Harris to make first official visit to Singapore, Vietnam

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SINGAPORE —US vice-president Kamala Harris will make her first official visit to Singapore and Vietnam next month, the White House announced on Friday (July 30), adding that the trip is aimed at strengthening ties with "two critical Indo-Pacific partners".

US vice-president Kamala Harris delivers remarks in the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on July 27, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Her visit to Singapore comes at the invitation of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

“Vice-president Harris’ visit affirms the strength of the relationship between our two countries," said Mr Lee's press secretary.

She added that Mrs Harris will meet Singapore leaders and discuss ways to deepen bilateral cooperation in multiple areas, including defence, cybersecurity, digital trade, climate change and the global response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr Lee said he is "delighted" to welcome Mrs Harris on her first official visit to Singapore.

"I look forward to our discussions on strengthening bilateral cooperation and working together on global challenges such as the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change," he added.

Mrs Harris' trip to Vietnam will be the first by a US vice-president.

"President Biden and vice-president Harris have made it a top priority to rebuild our global partnerships and keep our nation secure, and this upcoming visit continues that work — deepening our engagement in Southeast Asia," the White House said in a statement.

"The vice-president will also affirm and celebrate the strong cultural and people-to-people ties between the United States and these countries." CNA

For more stories like this, visit cna.asia . 

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Singapore President’s Historic First State Visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Jan 28, 2020 | Indiplomacy News , Uncategorized

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IN Diplomacy Annual Supplement

THE Republic of Singapore’s President Halimah binti Yacob’s made her first State Visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from Tuesday to Friday (Nov 5-8), at the invitation of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.  The Singaporean President was the first ever leader from the island-nation in the history of diplomatic relations between both countries, to make a State Visit to the Kingdom.

During the course of her visit meetings were also scheduled separately with Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defence as also with several other senior Saudi leaders.

Madam Halimah’s tight schedule also included tours of historical, cultural and religious sites in the cities of Riyadh, Jeddah, Makkah and Madinah. Also on the cards was an interaction with a business delegation (organised by the Singapore Business Federation and Enterprise Singapore) who was visiting Saudi Arabia in conjunction with the state visit. The President also got an opportunity to attend a reception where she met members of the Singaporean Diaspora in the Kingdom as well as students from Singapore there who were enrolled for higher studies.

The President was joined by her husband Mr Mohamed Abdullah Alhabshee, along with high-level members of the government including Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Singapore’s Minister for the Environment and Water Resources and Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs; Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Koh Poh Koon and Members of Parliament Foo Mee Har and Joan Pereira. The entourage accompanying Madame Halimah also included officials from the President’s Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Trade and Industry, and Ministry for the Environment and Water Resources.

Kingdom’s Ambassador: Visit will Underpin Steadfast Track of Bilateral Relations

Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the Republic of Singapore, H.E. Saad Saleh Al-Saleh, on the eve of her visit in an interview observed that: “The relations between the KSA and the Republic are witnessing growth and development in all fields. The continuous visits between the leaderships and officials of the two countries reflect their keenness to achieve progress in bilateral relations.”

Speaking of the great significance of President Halimah’s impending tour he pointed out that: “The visit also reflects the level of aspirations to enhance the excellent cooperation between the two countries in order to open new paths in various fields.”

“The visit of Her Excellency, who is set to meet the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz and HRH Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Bin Abdul Aziz and other Saudi High Officials, will pave the way for Singapore to contribute to the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 to achieve its development goals and create investment opportunities and mutual projects in the two countries, The Kingdom is witnessing a remarkable economic transformation as it diversifies its economy away from oil” according to the Ambassador.

5th November 2019 – Touch Down in Madinah

first us president to visit singapore

The President was scheduled to later travel to Riyadh, Jeddah and Makkah, before returning to Singapore on 8th November 2019.

6th November 2019 – President Halimah Honoured with Top Saudi Civilian Award

first us president to visit singapore

Madam Halimah said that receiving the King Abdulaziz Medal – the highest civilian honour in Saudi Arabia – was unexpected and she felt “deeply honoured”. She stressed that the award is not just about her, but reflects “how much esteem and respect the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has for Singapore, for what we stand for, our values, our efforts at progress and our ability to provide for the welfare of our people”.

During the course of the meeting both leaders dwelt upon the cooperation between the two countries and affirmed their desire to build on the strength of their longstanding bilateral relations with expanding cooperation between the two nations in various fields and matters of mutual interest. The talks also focused upon Singapore’s support for Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 economic agenda and G20 Presidency in 2020.  The President extended her thanks to King Salman for the honour of inviting Singapore to participate in the G20 meetings to be held in Saudi Arabia in 2020.

During her meeting with King Salman, President Halimah also used the opportunity to bring up the matter of the of the quota for Singaporeans allowed to perform the annual Haj pilgrimage. The Ministry of Haj and Umrah of Saudi Arabia, had last year increased the number of Singaporeans, making the pilgrimage, from 800 places in 2017 to 900 places.

The talks between the two leaders were also attended by the delegation accompanying the President as well as senior Saudi officials including Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar, Minister of State Prince Mansour bin Miteb bin Abdul Aziz, Interior Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saud bin Naif, Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, Minister of State Dr. Musaed Al-Aiban, Minister of Commerce and Investment Dr. Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi, Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan, and Saudi Ambassador to Singapore Saad Al-Saleh.

The monarch later hosted a celebratory luncheon at the Riyadh palace for the President Yacob and Mr Mohamed Abdullah Alhabshee.

Singapore-Saudi Arabia Ink MOU on Water and Environment

An MOU was signed with the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources and the Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture on Environmental Protection and Water Resource Management in Riyadh. This MOU builds on both the Kingdom’s and Singapore’s drive to tackle water scarcity and increase environmental resilience. The MOU heralds the move to strengthen the collaboration between the two nations in areas including water quality management, solid waste treatment and air pollution control. The MOU was signed by Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli and his Saudi counterpart, Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture Abdulrahman Al-Fadhli, in Riyadh on 6th November 2019.

first us president to visit singapore

MOUs signed by Minister Masagos Zulkifli and his Saudi counterpart, Abdulrahman Al-Fadhli, in Riyadh on 6th November 2019.

7th November 2019 – President Halimah in Discussions with Singapore Business Federation Delegates in Jeddah

first us president to visit singapore

President Halimah met with members of the Singapore Business Federation delegation in Jeddah.

On 7th November 2019 President Yacoub arrived in Jeddah where she received a warm welcome at the King Abdulaziz International Airport from His Royal Highness Prince Badr Bin Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Deputy Governor of Makkah Governorate.

Later in the day President Halimah met with members of the Singapore Business Federation delegation, at the Park Hyatt Jeddah Hotel.  The delegation was in Riyadh and Jeddah for the Overseas Market Workshop from 3 to 8 November 2019 which was organized jointly with Enterprise Singapore (ESG), and held in conjunction with Mdm Halimah Yacob’s State Visit to the country. The delegation comprised officials from IT and infrastructure sectors looking to explore opportunities brought about by the Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 initiative which was launched in 2016. Saudi Arabia represents the biggest market in the Middle Eastern region. Its GDP reached an all-time high of US$782.48 billion in 2018.

first us president to visit singapore

President Halimah with HRH Prince Badr Bin Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Deputy Governor of Makkah Governorate.

The business delegation of 30 business owners and C-suite personnel was led by Mr Shamsher Zaman, Singapore’s non-resident Ambassador to Jordan and also Chairman of SBF’s Middle East Business Group. Meetings had been scheduled with members of the Riyadh and Jeddah Chamber of Commerce, who have expertise in a range of smart technologies, including smart urban infrastructure design and engineering, energy-efficiency, data services and software development. Saudi Arabia was Singapore’s 19th largest trading partner in 2017, with bilateral trade amounting to S$13.8 billion.  And among the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, Saudi Arabia is Singapore’s second-largest trading partner.

President Halimah Extended Rare Privilege to Perform Umrah at Ka’aaba in  Makkah

It was indeed a rare honour accorded to President of the Republic of Singapore Halimah binti Yacob when she visited the Grand Mosque at Makkah on 7th November 2019. According to a report by the Saudi Arabian Press Agency several officials welcomed her on her arrival in the holy city. Photos shared on Facebook relayed images of the President and her husband Mohamed Abdullah Alhabshee performing Umrah at the holy site. President Halimah shared how she and her entourage were granted special access to two most sacred sites of Islam—the Holy Ka’aaba at Makkah and the Raudhah at Masjid Nabawi.

Presidential Kingdom Tour Ends with Positive Vibes and Cooperative Mood

Speaking to media during the  wind-up of her hectic State Visit to Saudi Arabia President Halimah shared that  the Kingdom, along with Kuwait, which she also visited on her week-long official tour of the Middles East, already has economic cooperation with Singapore in areas such as oil and gas, financial services as well as information and communications technology (ICT).

There has also been collaboration at the governmental level to create developmental opportunities, she added, citing the Memorandum of Understanding on environmental protection and water resources management that was signed with Saudi Arabia on Wednesday as one example.“Apart from that, between Saudi Arabia and us, there’s also a lot of interest in so many different areas, particularly now that Saudi Arabia has launched the Vision 2030,” said President Halimah.

She also shared that: “… King Salman (of Saudi Arabia) raised the idea of having a joint commission. He said we should have a joint commission in order to further our collaboration with each other, and I think that’s a useful idea which we can further explore.” President Halimah observed that the vibes she felt during the meetings were “extremely positive”, and the leaders  of both countries looked at Singapore as a role model as the Republic has been “very successful” in its development efforts despite its small size.

It may be noted that Singapore is the only country outside the Gulf states which has signed a Free Trade Agreement with the Gulf Cooperation Council, a regional bloc formed by six Arab states – Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, and the UAE.

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Former Myanmar president Thein Sein attended the 70th anniversary event for China's 'peaceful co-existence' foreign policy. He is in Beijing for an official visit, and this is his first foreign trip since the military seized power in Myanmar three years ago. Leong Wai Kit shared more on the significance of the leader's presence against the absence of army chief Min Aung Hlaing, and what it means for China-Myanmar relations.

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Cambodia’s Hun Manet to make first visit to Singapore as PM

first us president to visit singapore

SINGAPORE – Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Manet will be in Singapore from June 18 on a two-day official visit, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on June 17.

The visit will be his first here since taking office in August 2023, and comes ahead of the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between both countries in 2025.

The Cambodian leader will receive an official welcome at the Istana, where he will call on President Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

He will also meet Prime Minister and Finance Minister Lawrence Wong, and will receive a call by Senior Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

In the evening, Mr Hun Manet will be hosted to an official dinner by PM Wong.

While in Singapore, Mr Hun Manet is also scheduled to attend the Cambodia-Singapore Business Forum, organised by the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce, the Singapore Business Federation, the Singapore Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia and the Singapore Alumni Association of Cambodia, and visit Nanyang Polytechnic and Keppel Infrastructure@Changi.

He will be accompanied by a delegation that includes Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Sok Chenda Sophea, ministerial delegates, senior government officials and representatives from the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce.

Mr Hun Manet, who took over from his father, former Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen, had previously visited Singapore in June 2019 in his capacity as deputy commander-in-chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of the Royal Cambodian Army. He also visited Singapore as the 64th Lee Kuan Yew Exchange Fellow in June 2018.

Correction note: The story has been updated to include the other organisers of the Cambodia-Singapore Business Forum.

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USA TODAY

Who was the first president? Here's what to know about the first president in US history.

To qualify for presidency in the United States, there are  three requirements, according to the Constitution : 

  • Must be at least 35 years old
  • Be a natural born citizen of the U.S.
  • Must have lived in the U.S. for at least 14 years

There have been 46 presidents throughout U.S. history. With nearly 250 years of history, it can be easy to forget who held office and when. So, here is rundown on the first president, the current and all those in-between.

Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

Who was the first president? 

George Washington was the first president of the United States, taking his oath of office on April 30, 1789 , according to the White House. Prior to his presidency, Washington was the Commander in Chief of the Continental Army.

Washington retired after two terms, setting a precedent for future presidents. He held the role from 1789 to 1797. 

When did George Washington die? 

After his retirement, Washington spent his time at Mount Vernon until he died of a throat infection on Dec. 14, 1799 , says the White House. 

Washington was 67 years old when he died. 

How many presidents were there before Washington?

While Washington is recognized as the first president of our nation, there were several "presidents" before him.

During the Continental Congresses and Confederation Congress, a  "president" was elected by the delegates to oversee the legislative session, according to the U.S. House of Representatives. This official had many responsibilities including "ruling on parliamentary issues, managing official correspondence, advancing or holding back legislation," among others.

These are the presidents of the Continental Congresses and Confederation Congress and their term lengths:

  • Peyton Randolph: Sep. 5 – Oct. 22, 1774
  • Henry Middleton: Oct. 22 – Oct. 26, 1774
  • Peyton Randolph: May 10 – May 24, 1775
  • John Hancock: May 24, 1775 – Oct. 31, 1777
  • Henry Laurens: Nov. 1, 1777 – Dec. 9, 1778
  • John Jay: Dec. 10, 1778 – Sep. 27, 1779
  • Samuel Huntington: Sep. 28, 1779 – Mar. 1, 1781
  • Samuel Huntington: Mar. 2 – July 6, 1781
  • Thomas McKean: July 10 – Oct. 23, 1781
  • John Hanson: Nov. 5, 1781 – Nov. 3, 1782
  • Elias Boudinot: Nov. 4, 1782–Nov. 3, 1783
  • Thomas Mifflin: Nov. 3, 1783 – Nov. 30, 1784
  • Richard Henry Lee: Nov. 30, 1784 – Nov. 4, 1785
  • John Hancock: Nov. 23, 1785 – June 5, 1786
  • Nathaniel Gorham: June 6, 1786 – Feb. 2, 1787
  • Arthur St. Clair: Feb. 2 – Oct. 5, 1787
  • Cyrus Griffin: Jan. 22, 1788 – Mar. 2, 1789

How old do you have to be to be president? What running for the highest office requires.

Who is the president of the United States? 

The 46th president of the United States is Joe Biden . Biden previously represented Delaware for 36 years in the Senate, later becoming the 47th vice president of the U.S. under former President Barrack Obama. 

Biden assumed office on Jan. 20, 2021 with Kamala Harris as his vice president, making Harris the first female vice president in U.S. history, as well as the first Black American and first Asian American vice president. 

Presidents of the United States, in order

Here are all the presidents in U.S. history in order from first to current: 

  • George Washington 
  • John Adams 
  • Thomas Jefferson 
  • James Madison
  • James Monroe
  • John Quincy Adams 
  • Andrew Jackson 
  • Martin Van Buren 
  • William Henry Harrison
  • James K. Polk 
  • Zachary Taylor 
  • Millard Fillmore 
  • Franklin Pierce 
  • James Buchanan
  • Abraham Lincoln 
  • Andrew Johnson 
  • Ulysses S. Grant
  • Rutherford B. Hayes 
  • James Garfield 
  • Chester A. Arthur 
  • Grover Cleveland 
  • Benjamin Harrison 
  • William McKinley 
  • Theodore Roosevelt 
  • William Howard Taft 
  • Woodrow Wilson 
  • Warren G. Harding 
  • Calvin Coolidge 
  • Herbert Hoover 
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • Harry S. Truman 
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower 
  • John F. Kennedy 
  • Lyndon B. Johnson 
  • Richard M. Nixon
  • Gerald R. Ford
  •  Jimmy Carter 
  • Ronald Reagan
  • George H. W. Bush 
  • Bill Clinton
  • George W. Bush 
  • Barack Obama 
  • Donald Trump 

One-term presidents: Trump joins the list of presidents denied a second term

 Just Curious for more? We've got you covered

USA TODAY is exploring the questions you and others ask every day. From " What are the three branches of government? " to " How much does the president make? " to " Is Election Day a federal holiday? " – we're striving to find answers to the most common questions you ask every day. Head to our  Just Curious section  to see what else we can answer.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Who was the first president? Here's what to know about the first president in US history.

US President Joe Biden speaks during a press conference a day after the US midterm elections, from the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on November 9, 2022.

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  1. United States presidential visits to Southeast Asia

    There have been twenty-four United States presidential visits to Southeast Asia by ten U.S. presidents. Dwight D. Eisenhower became the first incumbent president to visit a Southeast Asian country when he visited the Philippines in 1960. Since then, every president, except John F. Kennedy and Jimmy Carter, has travelled to the region.

  2. United States presidential visits to East Asia

    Ten United States presidents have made presidential visits to East Asia. The first presidential trip to a country in East Asia was made by Dwight D. Eisenhower (as president-elect) in 1952. Since then, all presidents, except John F. Kennedy, have traveled to one or more nations in the region while in office. To date, 25 visits have been made to ...

  3. List of United States presidential firsts

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  4. Travel Firsts

    President Note; First president to visit the U.S. West Coast: Rutherford B. Hayes: First president to visit all 50 states: Richard M. Nixon: First president to travel outside of the United States: George Washington: Barbados, 1751: First president to travel outside of the United States while in office: Theodore Roosevelt: Panama, 1906

  5. From Balestier to White House state dinners: 7 things about PM Lee's

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  6. Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong meets US President Joe Biden at White

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  7. Visits By Foreign Leaders of Singapore

    Visits By Foreign Leaders of Singapore Visitor Description Date; Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew: Official visit. ... Private visit. Met with President Reagan July 21. July 18-22, 1982: Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew: Official Visit. ... United States Department of State. [email protected]. Phone: 202-955-0200 . Fax: 202-955-0268 ...

  8. Singapore

    Singapore: Met with Acting President Pillay and Prime Minister Lee. Addressed National Singapore University. November 16-17, 2006: Barack Obama: ... United States Department of State. [email protected]. Phone: 202-955-0200. Fax: 202-955-0268. Report an issue on this page ...

  9. Remarks by President Obama and Prime Minister Lee of Singapore at

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  10. Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore

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  11. President George H.W. Bush forged a relationship with S'pore & Lee Kuan

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  12. An Inaugural Visit

    By Kevin O'Connor and Hazlina Abdul Halim. Vice President Kamala Harris' visit to Singapore, Aug. 22-24, was a series of historic firsts. The trip marked the vice president's first trip to the region, the highest-level U.S. official to come to the country since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the first female vice president to ...

  13. President Tharman to visit the US, will meet UN chief Guterres

    SINGAPORE: President Tharman Shanmugaratnam will make a working visit to New York from Nov 27 to Dec 4, his office said on Sunday (Nov 26). It will be his first official trip as Singapore's head ...

  14. U.S. VP Harris to visit Singapore, Vietnam in a fortnight

    U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris will visit Singapore and Vietnam in a fortnight's time, Singapore's prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong, said on Tuesday during the Aspen Security Forum webinar.

  15. US Vice-President Kamala Harris to visit Singapore and Vietnam

    Published. Jul 30, 2021, 09:52 PM. WASHINGTON - United States Vice-President Kamala Harris will travel to Singapore and Vietnam next month to "strengthen relationships and expand economic ...

  16. Harris to visit Singapore, Vietnam, focus on economic ties

    Published 7:50 AM PDT, July 30, 2021. WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Kamala Harris will visit Singapore and Vietnam next month on a trip focused on strengthening economic ties and celebrating America's cultural connection with the Indo-Pacific region. It will be Harris' first overseas travel and second foreign trip, after she visited ...

  17. United States presidential visits to South Asia

    The eight countries of South Asia. Eight presidents of the United States have made presidential visits to South Asia.The first trip by a sitting president to South Asia was by Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1959. Of the eight countries in the region, only 4 of them have been visited by a sitting American president: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan.

  18. The first time a president went to … (in photos)

    The first US president to visit the Soviet Union was Franklin D. Roosevelt, ... His meeting with Kim in 2018 at a summit in Singapore was clearly an historic event. A year later, Trump and Kim ...

  19. US Vice President Kamala Harris confirmed coming to S'pore on first

    United States Vice President Kamala Harris will make her first official visit to Singapore and Vietnam in August 2021, the White House announced on July 30.

  20. Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore

    During the trip, President Tharman also met members of the Singaporean community in Italy at a reception in Rome on 23 June evening. President Tharman will travel to Tallinn for an Official Visit to Estonia on 25 and 26 June. . . . . . MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS. SINGAPORE. 25 JUNE 2024. . . . .

  21. Kazakh President Tokayev to make first state visit to Singapore from

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on May 22 that the visit by the President of Kazakhstan - who is familiar with Singapore, having served as a diplomat in the 1970s and visited as foreign ...

  22. Congratulations to the New President of Singapore Tharman

    The United States congratulates Tharman Shanmugaratnam on his election as the ninth president of the Republic of Singapore. The United States and Singapore share a longstanding and robust partnership built on a foundation of mutual respect, shared values, and common interests. We look forward to working closely with President-elect Shanmugaratnam and the people of Singapore […]

  23. US vice-president Kamala Harris to make first official visit to

    SINGAPORE —US vice-president Kamala Harris will make her first official visit to Singapore and Vietnam next month, the White House announced on Friday (July 30), adding that the trip is aimed at ...

  24. Singapore President's Historic First State Visit to the Kingdom of

    THE Republic of Singapore's President Halimah binti Yacob's made her first State Visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from Tuesday to Friday (Nov 5-8), at the invitation of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. The Singaporean President was the first ever leader from the island-nation in the history of diplomatic relations between both ...

  25. Former Myanmar president Thein Sein is in Beijing. Why?

    Former Myanmar president Thein Sein attended the 70th anniversary event for China's 'peaceful co-existence' foreign policy. He is in Beijing for an official visit, and this is his first foreign ...

  26. Cambodia's Hun Manet to make first visit to Singapore as PM

    SINGAPORE - Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Manet will be in Singapore from June 18 on a two-day official visit, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on June 17. The visit will be his first here ...

  27. Who was the first president? Here's what to know about the first ...

    George Washington was the first president of the United States, taking his oath of office on April 30, 1789, according to the White House. Prior to his presidency, Washington was the Commander in ...

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