President Halimah visits German President in Berlin
The familiar strains of Majulah Singapura could be heard in the winter cold of Berlin yesterday on the lawns of the historic Schloss Bellevue in a ceremonial welcome to mark the visit of President Halimah Yacob.
She was calling on German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at his official residence on the second day of her five-day state visit to Germany.
She is making the first state visit by a Singapore head of state to Germany at Dr Steinmeier's invitation.
She hosted Dr Steinmeier when he visited Singapore in November 2017, which was the first state visit to the Republic by a German head of state.
At Schloss Bellevue, Madam Halimah and her husband, Mr Mohamed Abdullah Alhabshee, were welcomed by Dr Steinmeier and his wife Elke Budenbender.
Madam Halimah and Dr Steinmeier then inspected a guard of honour contingent before interacting with students from the Walther-Rathenau Gymnasium, a German high school located in Berlin.
In her meeting with Dr Steinmeier, she discussed common challenges and scope for more bilateral collaboration in the areas of education and research and development, and also exchanged views on regional and international developments.
After a reception with Dr Steinmeier, Madam Halimah and Mr Mohamed laid a wreath at the foot of the Neue Wache war memorial to honour the victims of war.
MET ANGELA MERKEL
Madam Halimah also met German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Federal Chancellery earlier yesterday morning, touching on the free trade agreement between the European Union and Singapore which took effect last month.
She later met Berlin Mayor Michael Mueller, with whom she took a stroll through the iconic Brandenburg Gate.
On the first day of her visit, Madam Halimah witnessed the signing of 11 memorandums of understanding and agreements between Singaporean and German partners from a variety of sectors.