Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong Invited By French President Macron To Bastille Day
Prime Minister (PM) Lee Hsien Loong has been invited to take part in France’s annual Bastille Day as a guest of honour, along with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe.
This marks the first time that a Singaporean Prime Minister has been awarded such a distinction.
PM Lee will be heading over to join President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday (14 Jul) to witness the affair.
What is Bastille Day?
Think of it as France’s version of our National Day Parade.
Just without this.
Or even this.
Instead, France has Europe’s largest and oldest military parade, with the French president traditionally presiding over festivities.
Foreign guests are often invited to the event to act as guests of honours.
Who were the former guest of honours?
Past guest of honours have included the Prime Minister of India (2009), the leaders of all 26 other European Union member states (2007) and the Brazilian Prime Minister (2005).
President Donald Trump was the most recent guest of honour — partaking in 2017’s centennial celebrations to commemorate US entry’s into the World War I.
He didn’t seem too impressed though.
Why are we invited?
France and Singapore are BFFs. We share good diplomatic and trade ties.
Officially, the invite commemorates the 20th anniversary of Republic of Singapore Air Force’s (RSAF) training in Cazaux Air Base, in the South-West of France.
The base allows our pilots to train in an area 32 times the size of Singapore.
To symbolise this collaboration, this year’s parade will also feature an aerial display from the RSAF, and soldiers bearing the Singaporean flag, marching along with French soldiers.
Pretty cool stuff.