Prince upholds ARF's 'balanced approach'

His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, yesterday attended the 15th Asean Regional Forum (ARF) at the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore.

The forum was held in a Retreat and Plenary sessions, where ministers discussed a wide range of regional and international security matters, including ways to enhance cooperation.

His Royal Highness delivered a statement that stressed the importance Brunei Darussalam placed on the special approach taken by the ARF in addressing regional and international security matters. This, His Royal Highness stated, was a 'balanced approach' based on common values of dialogue, consultations and mutual respect shared by ARF members.

At the end of the meeting, the Foreign Ministers issued the "Singapore Declaration on the 15th ARF" to mark the 15th anniversary of the forum.

His Royal Highness and Asean Foreign Ministers then attended the signing ceremony for the Instrument of Extension of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), at which His Royal Highness signed on behalf of Brunei Darussalam.

His Royal Highness then joined other foreign ministers at the closing ceremony of the 41st Asean Ministerial Meeting.

Earlier yesterday, His Royal Highness held a bilateral meeting with Stephen Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Australia.

His Royal Highness, and Her Royal Highness Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Zariah returned to Brunei Darussalam yesterday afternoon. - Borneo Bulletin (25th July 2008)