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Lawrence Wong sworn in as Prime Minister of Singapore

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Singapore, May 15 (IANS) Lawrence Wong took his oath of office as Singapore’s fourth Prime Minister at the Istana, the country’s presidential palace, on Wednesday.In the inauguration speech, Wong expressed gratitude to Lee Hsien Loong, who served as the prime minister for the past two decades and remains in the new cabinet as a senior minister, reports Xinhua News Agency.Wong, 51, is the first prime minister of Singapore born after the country’s independence in 1965. He said that the handover also signifies a passing of the baton across generations.Wong said one of his priorities is to identify and bring younger talents in their 30s and 40s to the team, and his leadership style will differ from previous generations.”We enjoyed unprecedented peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific since the end of the Cold War. Unfortunately, the era is over,” Wong stressed while expounding on his external views.Facing growing conflict, rivalry, protectionism and nationalism, Wong said Singapore will adapt to the changes and continue to be friends with all.”We value the centrality of ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and its efforts to foster regional cooperation and integration. We hope for stable U.S.-China relations and will continue engaging both powers,” he noted.He also vowed to improve trust within local society, and push the country forward with common purpose and shared resolve.–IANSint/as

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