Visits Visits

Remarks by Prime Minister at the Banquet hosted by Prime Minister of Singapore (November 24, 2015)

November 24, 2015

Excellency, Prime Minister Lee Sen Loong
Honorable Ministers,
Distinguished Guests,

Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister.

I deeply appreciate the depth of your sentiments, solidarity and support for India in everything that you have said today;

and, in what you do for India and for this partnership.

I am grateful for your kind words for me. This is the generosity of a good friend.

Your leadership has sustained the momentum of Singapore's success. And, yours is a calm and steady voice of consensus and cooperation in our troubled times.

Mr. Prime Minister,

Singapore is not new for me. But, each time, I feel a new sense of inspiration and optimism.

It comes from the energy, sense of purpose and enterprise that I feel in the Singapore air.

It also comes from your ability to look into the future, while perfecting the present.

And, it comes from the warm embrace of welcome and friendship that I see in the eyes of Singaporeans.

That smile always goes with a word of hope for India's rise; and, a stream of friendly advice on how to make it happen.

This is what lends such a warm human quality to our relationship.

That is why there can be no place like Singapore.

It reminds you of Lord Buddha's message that noble friends and companions are the whole of the holy life.

Mr. Prime Minister,

As I said yesterday, Singapore is a metaphor of the reality of dreams.

And, Singapore achieved it without a vast expanse of territory or the gifts of Nature. For this reason, it is a symbol of aspiration for people and a source of inspiration for nations around the world.

The Asiatic Lion may now only be found in Gujarat. Asia's economic lion is to be found here – in Singapore.

Great nations look beyond their shores not just in pursuit of their interests, but to serve a larger cause.

So, we greatly appreciate Singapore's efforts to advance prosperity, stability and harmony, in our region.

Mr. Prime Minister,

We honour the long history of our ties, rich with every aspect of human life.

We can also talk of bonds that were sanctified by the immersed ashes of Gandhiji and the living links with Tagore in Singapore.

We value the ties of kinship that makes not just Little India, but also the rest of Singapore, throb with the festivals of India. Thank you for setting up the India Heritage Centre.

We also cherish our remarkable partnership.

It is not just what we do with each other. It is also what we learn from each other.

It touches every aspect of the life and priorities of our two nations.

Singapore was India's springboard to the world and gateway to the east.

Now, Singapore is already a major partner in almost every area of priority in India's transformation.

In turn, India is a land of boundless opportunities for you.

We are also working closely - to keep our continent peaceful; our maritime routes secure and free; our citizens safe; and, our cyber networks protected.

That is why this visit is so important.

I am pleased that we have elevated it to a strategic partnership. This is a decision Prime Minister and I did not take lightly. We will fulfill the responsibility that comes with strategic partnership.

We had many significant outcomes and agreements today. They cover things that matter to our prosperity and security, and our region's peace and stability.

The 50th year of Singapore's independence also marks fifty years of relations between our two independent nations.

Our journey has so far been wonderful. But, the journey ahead will be special, of renewed spirit and new energy – Naya Utsah, Naya Josh.

We won't have to speak of missed opportunities, but only look ahead to new summits to climb.

All in the joy and comfort of our friendship.

With these words, I have the pleasure to invite you to raise a toast to:

  • to the good health and well-being of His Excellency, Prime Minister of Singapore
  • to the progress and prosperity of the friendly people of Singapore, and ·
  • to the eternal bonds of friendship between India and Singapore.


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