Russia to open embassy as ties reach new level

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday held a bilateral meeting with President Dmitry Medvedev of the Russian Federation at Grand Kremlin Palace, with talks focussing on boosting bilateral trade.

At the meeting, both leaders underlined the warm and friendly relations between both countries and discussed ways to further enhance bilateral cooperation. Both sides also exchanged views on regional and international issues of mutual interest and concern.

"We are bringing our cooperation to a new level, which is embodied in the opening of the Russian Embassy in your country's capital," Dmitry Medvedev was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti during his talks with His Majesty, who is in Russia on a five-day official visit.

Medvedev said the embassy in Brunei would promote and diversify links between the countries. He also said they planned to sign a bilateral cooperation declaration.

Following the meeting, His Majesty, Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha and Her Royal Highness Pengiran Isteri Azrinaz Mazhar attended a luncheon hosted by President Medvedev and First Lady Svetlana Vladimirovna Medvedeva.

Also attending the luncheon were His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office; Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pg Anak Isteri Pg Anak Sarah; His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul 'Azim; His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Malik; His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Mateen; Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Amal Umi Kalthum; and YAM Pengiran Setia Diraja Sahibul Karib Pengiran Anak Haji Idris.

During the luncheon, His Majesty the Sultan delivered a titah in which His Majesty expressed his appreciation for the generous welcome by the President and the Government of the Federation of Russia accorded to His Majesty and his entourage.

His Majesty also welcomed the decision of the Russian government to open an embassy in Bandar Seri Begawan and stated that this marked another milestone in Brunei Darussalam-Russia bilateral relations.

His Majesty highlighted the potential for both governments to work closely together at regional and international levels. His Majesty noted that next year Brunei Darussalam and Russia will co-chair a meeting of the Asean Regional Forum.

His Majesty also expressed satisfaction that the two countries have signed several bilateral agreements and Memoranda of Understanding and will also be signing a few more in the near future.

His Majesty stated that these would open up many opportunities for cooperation and development in education, economic, tourism, culture and defence.

The luncheon was also attended by several Cabinet Ministers and senior government officials from both countries. - Borneo Bulletin (16th October 2009)