Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was set to visit Singapore this weekend, marking an Israeli head of state's first official visit to the city-state since the mid-1980s.
Singapore's ties with Israel run long and deep.
Shortly after Singapore was declared independent of Malaysia in the mid-1960s, it sought Israel's assistance in establishing its military, after being turned away by several other countries, including its one-time colonial master, the U.K.
To keep the presence of Israeli soldiers in the city-state a secret, Singapore called them Mexicans.
There's also a long history of business ties, not just in the defense industries, but across the technology, solar and water segments.
Recently, Israeli officials have also traveled to Singapore to study the city-state's public housing system for ideas on how to help ease its own housing shortage. Ironically, in the 1960s, Singapore set up its own system after studying Israel's.
Netanyahu's trip comes after Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong last year visited Israel as part of a tour of the Middle East. Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not immediately return an emailed request for comment.
But there's been a long hiatus since an Israeli head of state last visited Singapore.
In 1986, Israel's then-President Chaim Herzog became the first Israeli head of state to visit the city-state. But when the Israeli embassy in Singapore announced the visit about a month ahead of time, it sparked protests across Muslim-majority countries Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei, as well as diplomatic ire and pressure to cancel the visit. Both Malaysia and Indonesia removed their heads of mission during the visit.