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2 Indian-origin Singapore Ministers have a key role in facilitating summit

Singapore Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan (L) takes a selfie with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un walks along the Jubillee bridge during a tour of some of the sights on June 11, 2018 in Singapore.   | Photo Credit: Getty Images

Two Indian-origin Ministers in Singapore, Vivian Balakrishnan and K. Shanmugam, are playing a key role in facilitating a hassle-free summit.

Mr. Balakrishnan, Singapore’s Foreign Minister, made important visits to Washington, Pyongyang and Beijing in recent days to ensure that there would be no last-minute spoilers for the historic meeting hosted by the city-state.

Mr. Shanmugam is Singapore’s Minister for Law and Home Affairs and he has the responsibility to make sure that the summit goes without a hitch from the security point of view.

Singapore is one of the few countries that have diplomatic relations with both the U.S. and North Korea. Mr. Balakrishnan, who received Mr. Kim on Sunday at Changi Airport, said the summit comes after 70 years of suspicion, war and diplomatic failures. “This is not the way conventional diplomacy would have been conducted, but perhaps you need two very unconventional leaders to have brought us to this stage,” he told the BBC.

Singapore will fund Kim's hotel expenses

Mr. Balakrishnan also said that the Singapore government was footing the hotel bill for Mr. Kim and his delegation.

Meanwhile, Law and Home Affairs Minister Shanmugam is confident that security is in place for the Trump-Kim summit. “The fact that we prepared this in two weeks, this adds to logistics demands by officers who worked around the clock,” Mr. Shanmugam said at a security briefing on Sunday.

Also, The Straits Times reported on Monday that popular Indian dishes like Pulao and Chicken Korma will be among the items served to nearly 3,000 journalists from across the world who are here to cover the the summit.

Indian dishes like Pulao, Fish Curry, Chicken Curry, Daal, Chicken Korma and Papad are among the 45 dishes be served at the F1 Pit Building — the official media centre for the summit — in downtown Singapore.


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Printable version | Jan 17, 2022 1:43:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/2-indian-origin-ministers-have-a-key-role-in-facilitating-summit/article24138548.ece

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