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President Halimah to make state visits to Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan

SINGAPORE - President Halimah Yacob will make state visits to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan from Sunday to Thursday, marking the first such visits by a Singaporean head of state to Central Asia.

Madam Halimah’s visit to Kazakhstan comes at the invitation of its President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, as the two countries celebrate 30 years of diplomatic relations in 2023, said Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) on Saturday.

In Kazakhstan’s capital Astana, she will be accorded a state welcome ceremony at the Akorda Palace and will call on President Tokayev, who will host a state luncheon in her honour. She will be hosted to dinner by Kazakhstan Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov.

During her trip, she will also meet Singapore’s and Kazakhstan’s business leaders at the Singapore-Kazakhstan Business Forum and visit the Astana International Financial Centre and the Nazarbayev University, said MFA.

Madam Halimah last visited Kazakhstan in 2017 in her capacity as Speaker of Parliament.

On Tuesday, she will fly to Uzbekistan’s capital Tashkent, where she will call on President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, said MFA.

Her visit to Uzbekistan comes at the invitation of President Mirziyoyev, who visited Singapore in January. This year marks the 25th year of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

In Tashkent, Madam Halimah will be accorded a state welcome ceremony at the Kuksaroy Palace, and President Mirziyoyev will host a state luncheon in her honour.

She will also meet Singapore and Uzbek business leaders at the Singapore-Uzbekistan Business Forum and visit the Academy of Public Administration.

In addition, she will visit Samarkand and be hosted to lunch by its governor Erkinjon Turdimov.

The President will be accompanied by her husband, Mr Mohamed Abdullah Alhabshee, Second Minister for Education and Foreign Affairs Maliki Osman, Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Trade and Industry Tan See Leng, and MPs Gan Thiam Poh and Tin Pei Ling.

Officials from the President’s Office, MFA and Ministry of Trade and Industry and Enterprise Singapore will be part of the delegation.

Mr Eddie Teo, who chairs the Council of Presidential Advisers, will be Acting President while Madam Halimah is away.