His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha last evening hosted a dinner in honour of the visit of Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Secretary of State of the United States of America.
Present at the dinner were His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office; Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah; His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Her Royal Highness Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Zariah; Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna, Amabssador-at-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade; and other members of the royal family.
Also attending the dinner was Mr Daniel Luke Shields, Ambassador of the United States of America to Brunei Darussalam.
After the dinner, His Majesty consented to give the US Secretary of State a courtesy tour of Istana Nurul Iman.
Clinton is in Brunei Darussalam for a two-day visit.
The US Secretary of State will be received by HRH Prince Mohamed Bolkiah today morning. Later Clinton is scheduled to give a special talk at Universiti Brunei Darussalam before leaving Brunei.
Earlier, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade II, Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Dewa Dato Seri Setia Awg Lim Jock Seng greeted Secretary Clinton upon her arrival at the Brunei International Airport. Also present at the airport were senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Daniel Shields.
On the way to Brunei from Dili in East Timor, Clinton said that "the mark of a mature relationship, whether it is between nations or between people, is not whether we agree on everything - because that is highly unlikely between nations and people - but whether we can work through the issues that are difficult".
She said it was important for the US and China to talk ahead of a number of international gatherings, including the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit this weekend in Vladivostok, Russia, the UN General Assembly and the East Asia Summit, Associated Press added.
Clinton is winding down an 11-day, six-nation tour through the Asia-Pacific. After stops in the Cook Islands, Indonesia, China, East Timor and Brunei, she heads to Russia on Friday for the APEC forum.
Brunei next year will serve as the chair of Asean and the East Asia Summit, the latter of which includes Asean and a handful of other countries including China and the United States.
Brunei succeeds Cambodia, whose tenure has been marred by rising friction between Southeast Asian nations and China over the maritime disputes.
- Borneo Bulletin
(7 September 2012)