PRESIDENT OBAMA: Hello, everybody. I just want to welcome the Minister Mentor of Singapore. This is one of the legendary figures of Asia in the 20th and 21st centuries. He is somebody who helped to trigger the Asian economic miracle. Singapore has been an outstanding friend and ally of the United States for many, many years, and so I am very much looking forward to the opportunity to hearing from the Minister Mentor his views on the evolving situation in Asia, as I prepare for my upcoming trip both to Singapore and to other key nations in the region.
And so I’m very grateful that he took the time. Welcome. And on behalf of the American people, we want to say thank you to the people of Singapore for being such outstanding friends.
MINISTER MENTOR LEE: Thank you, Mr. President, for those very warm words. I’m especially privileged to see you at a time of renewal and change in America, and during a period of transition where the world order is changing. And I look forward to hear your views on how you see the world evolving in a manner — (inaudible) — which is crucial to the stability and prosperity of East Asia.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Thank you very much.
All right, everybody.
Q Sir, can we ask about your visit to Dover Air Force Base last night? Will it influence your decision on Afghanistan?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, obviously it was a sobering reminder of the extraordinary sacrifices that our young men and women in uniform are engaging in every single day — not only our troops, but their families as well. And so Michelle and I are constantly mindful of those sacrifices.
And obviously the burden that both our troops and our families bear in any wartime situation is going to bear on how I see these conflicts. And it is something that I think about each and every day.