Bill Clinton to Lead US Delegation to Lee Kuan Yew Funeral

Gurdip Singh/Singapore
Bill Clinton to Lead US Delegation to Lee Kuan Yew Funeral

Former US President Bill Clinton will lead a high-level White House delegation to attend the State Funeral of Singapore's founder Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew on Sunday.

Lee, 91, died on March 23. He was Singapore's First Prime Minister. Lee stepped down in 1990, but held influence on local and international political and economic affairs.

The delegation will include US ambassador to Singapore Kirk Wagar, former US ambassador to Singapore Steven Green and former assistant to the president for national security affairs Thomas Donilon, The Straits Times reported.

Notable American statesman Henry Kissinger, who had close friendship with Lee, will also be in the delegation, all members of which have strong ties with Asia.

Donilon was a strong advocate for the Obama administration's pivot to Asia.

Secretary of State John Kerry had earlier said that the US would be sending a high-level delegation to Singapore because Lee "was deeply pro-American and deeply involved with the US and much of our strategic thinking through that time."

Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken was also at the Singapore embassy to pen a condolence message for Lee.

"He was a great man, a great leader and a great friend to the United States and we will miss his wise counsel, we will miss his voice, we will miss his vision," he told reporters.

"We are also grateful because thanks to his labour, the foundation between our countries, the relationship between our countries is extraordinarily strong and it will endure forever and that is a wonderful legacy."

In Beijing, the foreign ministry said a Chinese leader would attend Lee's funeral service, without giving names.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is also expected at the funeral service. Many of the world leaders will be in Singapore just for the day, departing promptly after the public ceremony at the University Cultural Centre.

That will require a high measure of coordination and logistics in security terms, traffic control as well as aircraft departure times, said the daily.

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