Brunei, Germany join hands to battle climate change
By a dpa correspondent

BERLIN - Brunei is to join Germany in action on climate change, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam said yesterday after a luncheon with Chancellor Angela Merkel at her Berlin office.

Brunei already cooperates with Germany on health, defence and education, His Majesty told reporters.

"I believe there is potential for us to widen our cooperation in other areas, such as trade and investment, climate change and people exchanges," he said.

Merkel said, "We intensively discussed how we could expand the relationship in education and training, first of all by cooperation between Germany and Brunei, and secondly through cooperation in third countries."

She said this might mean jointly assisting nations in ways that were "important to our objectives".

"We could definitely do more together in Afghanistan regarding reconstruction," she added.

The two leaders did not take any media questions.

His Majesty arrived in Germany on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, the Sultan walked through the city's landmark Brandenburg Gate accompanied by Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit and met with Bruneians studying in Germany.

"The last time I was here was nine years ago, and many things have changed since then," His Majesty said.

Earlier, His Majesty was greeted on arrival at the Federal Chancellor's Office by Chancellor Angela Merkel. His Majesty and Merkel then proceeded to level 8 of the Federal Chancellor's Office for a bilateral meeting, a press release from the Prime Minister's Office said.

During the meeting, His Majesty and the Chancellor exchanged views on bilateral relations and regional and international issues of mutual concern. The two leaders also discussed various efforts to further strengthen relationship between the two countries.

The meeting between the two leaders was followed by a luncheon in honour of His Majesty's visit hosted by the Chancellor.

During the press briefing, His Majesty expressed delight for being back in Berlin and the opportunity to meet the Chancellor to discuss a number of matters of great importance between the two countries.

His Majesty then expressed appreciation to the Chancellor's commitment in strengthening bilateral relations especially in health, defence and education. His Majesty also underscored the potential to widen cooperation bilaterally such as in trade and investment, climate change and people-to-people exchanges, as well as in regional and international bodies like the Asia-Europe Meeting (Asem), the United Nations and Asean-EU Dialogue.

Accompanying His Majesty were Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Bakti Diraja Dato Laila Utama Haji Awang Isa bin Pehin Datu Perdana Manteri Dato Laila Utama Haji Awang Ibrahim, Speaker of the Legislative Council; Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdul Rahman bin Haji Ibrahim, Minister of Finance II at the Prime Minister's Office; Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Dewa Dato Seri Setia Lim Jock Seng, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade II; Major General Dato Paduka Seri Awg Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin, Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces; and Pehin Datu Inderasugara Brigadier General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Haji Mohammad Yusof bin Abu Bakar, Ambassador of Brunei Darussalam to the Federal Republic of Germany.

His Majesty left Berlin yesterday after successfully concluding the official visit.

Before leaving, a doa selamat was read by State Mufti Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia Dr Ustaz Hj Awg Abdul Aziz bin Juned.

Present at the Berlin Tegel Airport to bid farewell to His Majesty were Mr Karl-Albrecht Wokalek, Chief of Protocol, Dr Thomas Bruns, Ambassador of Germany to Brunei and other senior officials from the German government.

Also present were Pehin Datu Inderasugara Brigadier General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Haji Mohammad Yusof bin Abu Bakar, Ambassador of Brunei to Germany, and officials from the Embassy of Brunei in Berlin. - Borneo Bulletin (10th June 2011)