Brunei, Turkey to set up diplomatic missions
Hakim Hayat & Dean Kassim in Ankara, Turkey

Bilateral relations between Brunei Darussalam and Turkey are expected to reach greater heights with cooperation in many areas including trade, in-vestment, education, tourism energy and defence.

Both countries signed two pacts on Tuesday - Agreement on Economic, Trade and Technical Cooperation and Agreement on the Mutual Abolition of Visa - during the official welcoming ceremony for His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam.

His Majesty is currently on a State Visit to the republic.

His Majesty and Turkey President Abdullah Gul in a joint press conference after holding a four-eye meeting, bilateral talks and witnessing the signing at the Presidential Palace in Ankara yesterday, said both countries have agreed to set up permanent missions in their respective countries to further strengthen the existing ties.

His Majesty at the press conference told reporters that he was delighted and honoured to be in Ankara as guest of President Abdullah Gul, as well as have the opportunity to meet the president and discuss ways to strengthen the long standing relationship and goodwill. His Majesty was also pleased with the results of the discussion with the President as well as the Prime Minister, especially on the prospects of cooperation in many areas.

With regards to the signing yesterday, His Majesty believed that these two agreements were very important in the endeavours to strengthen bilateral cooperation. "Not only that these agreements would bring the government officials to work together, but also encourage the people of both countries to be closer."

His Majesty said both countries had cooperated in many areas, including Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC), for many years.

His Majesty also expressed admiration to the tremendous progress made by the people of Turkey in all areas of development and looked forward to the chance for the people to share their wide experience and expertise.

His Majesty also stated that both sides shared the view on the importance of setting up diplomatic missions in both capitals in order to facilitate the expansion of bilateral cooperation.

"I would like to say that I have been amazed by what I see in Turkey right now, and I am pleased with the outcome we have gained in our talks with President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan," His Majesty told the joint press conference.

In concluding his titah, His Majesty thanked the President of Turkey for inviting His Majesty to visit the country and hoped to have the pleasure of returning the wonderful hospitality when the President visits Brunei Darussalam.

Meanwhile, Turkish President Abdullah Gul said Brunei Darussalam has extensive investments in many countries in the world, and hoped Turkey would like to draw investments from Brunei too.

"Brunei Investment Agency has strong investments in many countries. We believe that they will also include Turkey on their list," the President told reporters at the press conference.

He said agreements were signed to boost economic, commercial and technical cooperation as well as to remove visa requirements between the two countries, adding that His Majesty was the first Brunei Head of State ever to visit Turkey. "We are happy to welcome the Sultan in Turkey and I believe his visit will open a strong page between the two nations and it will lead to many positive developments in boosting trade, as well as cooperation in economy and defence industry," he added.

The Turkish President said Turkey would like to widen scope of cooperation in the energy sector, specifically in natural gas and liquid natural gas.

He said Turkey and Brunei have agreed to open permanent representations in the capitals of their respective countries, adding that the energy ministers of the two countries had launched talks. - Borneo Bulletin (11 April 2012)