Biden, Singapore’s prime minister to discuss Ukraine, Indo-Pacific security

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will welcome Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to the White House for bilateral meetings Tuesday to discuss Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, maintaining peace in the Indo-Pacific region, climate change and supply chain issues.

«The president and Prime Minister Lee will be meeting at a very critical time, one in which the rules-based international order faces unprecedented challenges,» a senior Biden administration official told reporters Monday in a preview of the visit.

The official added, «I think it’s obviously shaped by Russia’s unprovoked and unjustifiable war against Ukraine, which poses an urgent threat not only for Europe, but also for the Indo-Pacific

Singapore has implemented sanctions and export controls against Russia in an effort to support Ukraine, in what the official described as a «very significant development.»

After the two leaders meet Tuesday morning, they are expected to deliver a statement to the press from the White House. Singapore’s leader will then meet with Vice President Kamala Harris.

The meetings are an opportunity for the two countries to deepen their cooperation, the official said, including expanding engagement on trade in the region, as well as strengthen security ties — a key issue as China expands its military posture in the South China Sea. The leaders will also discuss climate change, space and cyberthreats, and fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.

The official said the Biden administration believes the U.S. partnership with Singapore has «important benefits for the American people.»

Biden last met with Lee at the G-20 summit in Rome in October.

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