Xinhua General News Service
March 28, 2012 Wednesday 1:16 AM EST

Singapore and Armenia on Wednesday signed an agreement on cultural
cooperation aimed at fostering greater inter-cultural understanding
between the two countries.

The agreement was signed by Transport Minister and Acting Minister
for Foreign Affairs Lui Tuck Yew and Armenia's Foreign Minister
Edward Nalbandian. They also signed another agreement on the terms
of mutual waiver of visa requirements for holders of diplomatic and
official passports.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan,
who is in Singapore for a three-day state visit, witnessed the
signing of the memorandum of understanding, the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs said.

The MOU will allow both countries to explore possibilities
of partnership between artists and experts in co-productions,
presentations, research trips and new commissions.

Sargsyan visited the Singapore Botanic Gardens in the morning where an
orchid was named after him. The national flower of Singapore, Vanda
Miss Joaquim, was named after an Armenian horticulturist resident in
Singapore in 1893.

Sargsyan paid a courtesy call on President Tony Tan Keng Yam too.

"Armenians were among the first traders to arrive when the British
established a free port in Singapore in 1819. Apart from trading,
Armenians were also successful in our publishing, hospitality and
services sectors," Tan said.

Sargsyan is expected to return to Armenia on March 29.

From: Baghdasarian