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Singapore, US to enhance bilateral strategic partnership

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Singapore and the United States will enhance their bilateral strategic partnership as they celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations in 2016.

SINGAPORE and the United States will enhance their bilateral strategic partnership as they celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations in 2016.

The two countries announced this in a joint statement shortly after their leaders, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and US President Barack Obama, had a bilateral meeting at the Oval Office in the White House.

Among several areas, Singapore and the US will work together on Smart City development and digital innovation. This includes identifying opportunities for research collaboration between the National Science Foundation in the US and the National Research Foundation in Singapore.

Mr Lee and Mr Obama reaffirmed the strong bilateral defence partnership as they expressed support to explore new training opportunities for the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) in Guam. The aim is to work towards a long-term training detachment for the Republic of Singapore Air Force.

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On counter-terrorism efforts, Singapore will ramp up its contribution to the fight against terror in Iraq by sending a SAF medical support team to the country.

The two countries also launched a new exchange scholarship to deepen people-to-people links. The scholarship will fund summer exchange programmes for 50 Singaporean and 50 American students over a five-year period.

Singapore and the US inked an agreement on Tuesday afternoon (Wednesday morning, Singapore time) to cooperate on cybersecurity issues. The deal will, among other things, commit to conduct joint exercises and collaborate on regional cyber capacity building.

"Through a half-century of diplomatic relations, the US and Singapore have forged an expansive and enduring relationship by cooperating on issues of mutual interest and shared principles," said the joint statement. "Both leaders committed to further enhance the US-Singapore strategic partnership, making it deeper, more substantive, and more effective to better support peace, stability, and cooperation across the region and around the world."

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