Closer Brunei-Ukraine ties
By Azaraimy HH

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam lauded the close bilateral relations between Brunei Darussalam and Ukraine, as both countries share a common desire to encourage understanding amongst all countries and peoples.

In a titah during a State Banquet held in honour of the State Visit by President Viktor Yanukovych of the Republic of Ukraine, His Majesty said he was delighted with the programme lined up for the Ukrainian President, which includes a visit to Universiti Brunei Darussalam and also a dialogue with Brunei's business sector.

Yesterday also saw the signing of a MoU on Cooperation in Defence, which His Majesty said will add a practical dimension to Brunei-Ukraine relationship.

His Majesty said he was able to witness first-hand the ongoing efforts towards development during His Majesty's visit to Ukraine, and he was much impressed by the level of technological achievement, especially in the area of aeronautical engineering.

His Majesty also acknowledged Ukraine in the field of sports, where Ukraine has produced many top-level athletes, and it is therefore fitting that Ukraine will be a co-host of next year's European Football Cup.

His Majesty said Brunei Darussalam's friendship with Ukraine began seven years ago with the visit of President Yanukovych's predecessor President Kuchma followed by the State Visit of His Majesty to Kiev.

His Majesty said President Yanukovych State Visit gives an opportunity to strengthen the Brunei-Ukraine relationship by adding substantive cooperation in a number of areas of mutual interest.

Meanwhile, in his speech, President Yanukovych said, in spite of geographical remoteness, he is certain that the results of his visit to Brunei will promote deeper cooperation between Ukraine and Brunei.

"I am confident that when there is interest and willingness to cooperate for the sake of economic efficiency, national welfare and achievement of practical results, distance does not matter," the Ukrainian president stated.

"Let me stress that Brunei is an important and prospective partner for Ukraine in Southeast Asia," he added. President Yanukovych said the two countries possess considerable potential for the development of mutually beneficial cooperation. - Borneo Bulletin (31st March 2011)