Netanyahu declares ‘pivot to Asia’ during Singapore visit



Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (third from left) visits the Maghain Aboth synagogue in Singapore. Credit: Haim Zach/GPO.

(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that Israel is “pivoting toward Asia” during an official visit to Singapore.

Netanyahu enjoyed a state dinner Monday with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, with both leaders praising the nation’s strong bonds and similarities.

Lee praised Israel’s assistance in building Singapore's armed forces, and said his country believes a two-state solution is the only way to achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians. 

"Israel is pivoting toward Asia in a very clear and purposeful way," Netanyahu, who was making the first-ever visit to Singapore by an Israeli prime minister, told Lee at the state dinner. "Next month I'll go to China; somewhat later this year Prime Minister [Narendra] Modi of India will come to visit Israel. Perfectly poised between China and India is Singapore, and I'm not [saying this] merely in the geographic sense, I'm saying that as a gateway to Asia, Singapore is a perfect partner."

In the past, the relationship between Israel and Singapore was relatively discreet, partly due to Singapore's large Muslim population and its location between Indonesia and Malaysia, both Muslim-majority countries. Netanyahu’s visit, therefore, marks a significant warming of relations between the countries.

Posted on February 21, 2017 .