SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Minister for Overseas Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan have despatched letters of condolences to Mrs Nancy Kissinger, spouse of former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger, mentioned the Ministry of Overseas Affairs in a press assertion on Friday (Dec 1).
Dr Kissinger died at his home in Connecticut on Wednesday, in keeping with an announcement from his geopolitical consulting agency, Kissinger Associates Inc.
It mentioned he could be interred at a non-public household service, to be adopted at a later date by a public memorial service in New York Metropolis.
In his letter to Mrs Kissinger on Thursday, Mr Lee mentioned he and his spouse, Mdm Ho Ching, had been “deeply saddened” by the demise of Dr Kissinger.
He mentioned Dr Kissinger will likely be “remembered warmly” by many all over the world.
“He was a peerless diplomat, true statesman, and visionary of his time,” Mr Lee mentioned. “As a pacesetter, he served with conviction and pragmatism.”
Mr Lee cited Dr Kissinger’s involvement in US president Richard Nixon’s rapprochement with China in 1972 as a “watershed second” that led to an prolonged interval of steady US-China relations. It resulted in regular international progress and deepening globalisation lasting many years, vastly benefitting the US and lots of different nations.
He additionally mentioned that from Singapore’s perspective, one other of Dr Kissinger’s main accomplishments was the extraction of the US from the Vietnam Warfare.
“He felt deeply the necessity to defend US credibility and its international affect, and refused to easily abandon America’s South Vietnamese ally,” mentioned Mr Lee.
“Although he was bitterly criticised for his actions, his technique purchased the non-Communist nations of Southeast Asia treasured time. We had been capable of construct up our political, financial, and army energy, and to organise ourselves into the Affiliation of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).
“By the point South Vietnam fell in 1975, and the Vietnamese invaded Cambodia in 1978, the Asean members had been a lot better capable of take care of the safety threats.”
Mr Lee added that Dr Kissinger travelled to Singapore in March 2015 for the state funeral of his father, the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew. He additionally recalled the “shifting eulogy” by Dr Kissinger at a non-public memorial service for the late Mr Lee in New York later that 12 months.
Mr Lee additionally mentioned he had the privilege of figuring out Dr Kissinger personally and benefitted vastly from his “counsel, knowledge, and curiosity in regards to the world”.
He added that he final met Dr Kissinger throughout a go to to New York in April 2022, and so they spoke for greater than an hour.
“Dr Kissinger touched many hearts all through his lengthy life. His legacy will stay with us for a very long time to return,” mentioned Mr Lee.