Obama invites Singapore leader for official visit, dinner

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama will mark 50 years of diplomatic relations with Singapore by hosting its leader at the White House.

The White House says Obama will welcome Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (LEE shee-EHN LOONG) for an official visit and state dinner on Aug. 2.

The White House says they will observe the occasion by highlighting a level of co-operation between their countries that has led more than 3,500 U.S. companies to operate in Singapore and has forged strong ties between their militaries. The leaders are also expected to discuss a range of international challenges.

Singapore is among 12 nations that have signed on to a trans-Pacific trade deal.

It is also supports the Paris Climate agreement and the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State group.