Hagel Hosts Singapore’s Prime Minister

Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong met with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Monday at the Pentagon as part of Lee’s four-day official visit to the United States. The meeting was a chance for Hagel to hear Lee’s views on security matters and on “territorial issues in the East and South China Seas,” said Pentagon spokesman George Little in a release. Hagel thanked Lee for Singapore hosting up to four littoral combat ships, with the first slated to arrive there this month, said Little. “In the future, there will be even more opportunities” for close security collaboration between the two countries, said Little. In fact, Lee’s visit comes as Singapore is close to ordering its first F-35 strike fighters—some 12 F-35Bs, reported Australian Aviation. Lee is scheduled to meet President Obama at the White House on April 2. Lee’s state visit comes at a time when the Obama Administration is courting closer security and trade ties with Singapore.