President Tony Tan to make historic state visit to UK

SINGAPORE - President Tony Tan Keng Yam will be making a state visit to the UK from Oct 20 to 25 where he will be visiting London and Bristol.

This is a historic first state visit by a Singapore President to the UK, and will showcase Singapore's long-standing relations with the UK ahead of the 50th anniversary of UK-Singapore relations in 2015, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

In London, President Tan will be hosted to a state banquet and a private luncheon by Queen Elizabeth II, a Guildhall Banquet by the Lord Mayor of the City of London Fiona Woolf and a lunch by Prime Minister David Cameron.

UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Leader of the Labour Party Ed Miliband will be calling on President Tan.

President Tan will also be addressing the UK Parliament at the Palace of Westminster and visiting Westminster Abbey to lay a ceremonial wreath on the Grave of the Unknown Soldier.

In addition, President Tan will be visiting the Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge (the Royal Society), Imperial College London and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. He will also meet businessmen over a lunch hosted by Lloyd's of London.

In Bristol, President will be hosted to a lunch by Mayor of Bristol George Ferguson and visit the University of Bristol as well as Aardman Animation Studios.

President Tan will be accompanied by Mrs Mary Tan; Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, Second Minister for Foreign Affairs and Second Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Grace Fu; Minister of State for National Development and Minister of State for Defence Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman; and Members of Parliament Sitoh Yih Pin and Arthur Fong.

The President will be on private leave from Oct 26 to 27. During President Tan's absence, Chairman of the Council of Presidential Advisers Mr J Y Pillay will exercise the functions of the office of the President.