MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS PRESS STATEMENT: STATE VISIT OF PRESIDENT S R NATHAN TO THE KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN 22-24 NOVEMBER 2010
President S R Nathan is currently on a State Visit to the Kingdom of Bahrain. He is accompanied by Mrs Nathan, Minister for National Development Mah Bow Tan, Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Zainul Abidin Rasheed, and Members of Parliament Irene Ng and Dr Lim Wee Kiak.
This afternoon, President Nathan called on the King of Bahrain, His Majesty King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa, at the Gudaibiya Palace, the King's official residence in Manama, the capital of Bahrain. This was the first meeting between both of them. A welcome ceremony was held in President's honour when he arrived at the Palace. Following the ceremony, King Hamad bestowed the "Al-Khalifa Order" on President Nathan. President told King Hamad that the award was a great honour for him and Singapore and symbolised the close ties between the two countries. King Hamad also hosted a luncheon in President's honour. During their meeting, President Nathan and King Hamad re-affirmed the excellent state of relations between Bahrain and Singapore. They also exchanged views on regional and international developments. President Nathan reiterated his invitation for King Hamad to visit Singapore.
Prior to his meeting with King Hamad, President received a call from the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain, His Royal Highness Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa. They discussed subjects of mutual interest, and agreed that Bahrain and Singapore should co-operate even more closely for mutual benefit. PM Khalifa first met President in 2003 when he made an official visit to Singapore. Earlier in the morning, President Nathan received a briefing by Chief Executive Officer of Bahrain's Economic Development Board, Shaikh Mohammad Essa Al Khalifa. The briefing gave President an overview of Bahrain's economic and development strategies to realise its 2030 Vision of diversifying the country's economy through the development of the non-oil sectors. .
In the evening, President visited the Bab Al-Bahrain Souk, a traditional bazaar selling Bahraini handicrafts and local delicacies. This visit was hosted by the Governor of Manama, His Excellency Shaikh Hamood Bin Abdula. President was greeted with a warm welcome when he arrived at the souk by the traders, local residents and school children.
Yesterday evening, the Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Bahrain Defence Force His Royal Highness Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa called on President Nathan and hosted dinner in honour of President. Besides holding discussions on regional and international developments, Prince Salman also updated President on developments in Bahrain. They also re-affirmed the close ties between Bahrain and Singapore and discussed opportunities to further enhance co-operation in various areas.
Tomorrow, the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry will a host a luncheon in honour of President. He is also scheduled to visit the Salman Industrial Estate and the King Fahd Causeway which links Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
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MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
22 NOVEMBER 2010