By Kirsten Han
Singapore (AA) – Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has accepted an invitation from the White House to visit United States President Barack Obama in August, where the latter will host a state dinner in his honor.
"It will mark the progress we have made, especially with this Administration. It will also be a chance to see how we can build on our friendship beyond the November US elections," Lee wrote on his Facebook page Thursday.
"As partners in the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, the Counter-ISIL [-Daesh] coalition, and the Paris Climate agreement, the two leaders will discuss how our relationship can continue to address international challenges and advance a rules-based order for the Asia-Pacific," the White House said in a press statement.
A state dinner, which can cost from $200,000 to over $500,000, is the highest diplomatic honor that the U.S. can give to a visiting dignitary, and is therefore saved for the strongest U.S. allies.
State dinners were hosted for four other Asian countries during Obama's administration: China, Japan, South Korea and India.