Foreign envoys laud bilateral relations with Sultanate
By Afelda Ghani

July 15 was not only celebrated by loyal patriots of Brunei, but foreign diplomats and tourists alike expressed and shared their joy at being part of the royal birthday celebrations at the Taman Sir Muda Haji Omar Ali Saifuddien, yesterday.

As people gathered and waited in the capital for the arrival of their benevolent ruler, the Bulletin spoke with a number of ambassadors and high commissioners stationed in the country, for their comments and opinions regarding the development of bilateral relations between Brunei and their respective countries.

British High Commissioner, Rob Fenn, stated that now is a very good moment to renew national ties, especially as it is His Majesty's birthday.

"We have a new government, the coalition government in London, which values its old friends. In fact, I have just come back from a leadership conference, where all the ambassadors and high commissioners based around the world gather to receive our marching orders from the Prime Minister, David Cameron, and foreign secretary, William Hague, and they both deeply believe in their nation's global ties. "They care about Britain's friends around the world and Brunei is a very old and valued friend," he added.

Meanwhile, the German Ambassador, Thomas C Bruns, happily commented on how "excellent relations between Brunei and Germany were being well-maintained"."We were one of the first countries to recognise Brunei after it declared full independence over 25 years ago. We enjoy very good relations with the country, politically, economically and culturally," said the German Ambassador, who also expressed his delight to be present to celebrate His Majesty the Sultan's birthday, with all the people.

A positive outlook was also conveyed by the Ambassador of Thailand, Phithak Phrombubpha, who spoke of the bilateral relations between Brunei and Thailand, which continues to progress and "will undoubtedly develop further in many positive areas".

The High Commissioner of India, RV Warjri, who is looking forward to initiating and launching major projects on Information Communication Technology with the relevant authorities said, "This will be the mother of all information revolution in Brunei." He went on to add "Brunei is very lucky to be ruled by His Majesty, as we have peace and tranquillity in a world full of chaos."

He ended his comments by affirming that tremendous improvements in bilateral relations between Brunei and India in all aspects have occurred. "Long live His Majesty," said Mr Warjri. - Borneo Bulletin (16th July 2010)