Brunei, Turkey eye strong defence ties
Hakim Hayat in Ankara, Turkey

Brunei Darussalam and the Republic of Turkey are determined to enhance the defence cooperation and in pursuance of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and Turkish President Abdullah Gul's desire to strengthen the overall bilateral relations and their intention to build on the momentum of working closely together.

During the landmark five-day State Visit by His Majesty to the republic at the invitation of President Abdullah Gul, a joint statement on defence industry cooperation between both countries was made available to the media at the Joint Press Conference between both leaders yesterday following a four-eye meeting, bilateral talk and MoU signing at the Presidential Palace in Ankara.

Both countries recognise the mutual benefits of continuing exchange and cooperation in the field of defence based on the principles of equality and respect for the principles of national sovereignty so as to promote peace and stability in the region and beyond.

Both countries also confirmed their commitment to the goals and principles of the United Nations (UN) Charter.

Notwithstanding the current negotiations to conclude the Agreement on Defence Cooperation between the two countries, the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Tukey and Brunei's Ministry of Defence (MinDef) reaffirmed their commitment to step up defence industry cooperation to improve defence capabilities, interoperability and efficiency.

Both countries also agreed that while fundamental understanding and objectives exist in principle on many issues, the defence industry cooperation shall continue to be followed up by both sides, especially on technology transfer and research technology programmes in areas of air, naval and ground platforms, electronic, simulators and weapons systems which shall pave way for the development of new areas of cooperation.

Both countries also agreed to promote exchange of visits to further explore areas of defence industry cooperation including participation in defence exhibitions in each other's countries.

His Majesty held a four-eye meeting with President Gul. During the meeting, both sides discussed on areas of cooperation between the two countries and exchanged views on regional and international issues.

The bilateral meeting was followed by a signing ceremony. His Majesty and President Gul witnessed the signing of the Agreement on Economic, Trade and Technical Cooperation. Signing for Brunei Darussalam was Dato Paduka Awang Haji Mohd Roselan bin Haji Mohd Daud, Permanent Secretary at the Prime Minister's Office whilst for the Republic of Turkey it was Ahmet Yakici, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy.

This was followed by the signing of the Agreement on the Mutual Abolition of Visa. Signing for Brunei Darussalam was 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, and for the Republic of Turkey it was Egemen Bagis, Minister for European Union Affairs. - Borneo Bulletin (11 April 2012)