Diplomats hold reception in honour of His Majesty
Hakim Hayat

RESIDENT heads of diplomatic missions in Brunei Darussalam yesterday morning hosted a reception in honour of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalamís 67th birthday.

Welcoming His Majesty and Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha upon arrival at the Royal Berkshire Hall, Royal Brunei Polo and Riding Club in Jerudong were a group of high commissioners and ambassadors together with their spouses, led by the Dean of Diplomatic Corps, Mohamed Jameel Abdul Jaleel Hashim, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Also present were Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna, Ambassador-at-large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade; and YAM Pengiran Lela Cheteria Sahibun Najabah Pengiran Anak Hj Abdul Aziz as well as senior government officials.

Their Majesties later consented to join in a group photo with the heads of diplomatic missions and their spouses.

In a brief welcoming remark, the Dean of Diplomatic Corps expressed the diplomatsí great respect and deep admiration for Their Majesties and the diplomatsí profound appreciation for all the hospitality, graciousness and friendship that Their Majesties, along with other members of the royal family, His Majestyís Government, and the people of Brunei have extended to the diplomatic community.

Following the remarks, His Majesty consented to receive a pesambah, an antique decorated spoon which dates back to the 11th Century during the Ghaznavid Dynasty in the Middle East.

Representatives from Diplomatic Corps explained that the finely decorated spoon is made of high tin bronze, a luxury alloy very sought after under the Ghaznavid Empire rule (962-1187).

It was made under the rule of Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni, the most prominent ruler of the dynasty and the empire expanded under his rule between 998 and 1030. The high tin content in the alloy gives a very clear almost honey-colour to the metal, a fine example of metalwork production under the rule of Sultan Mahmud Ghazni.

Their Majesties and members of the royal family spent about an hour mingling with the diplomats and their spouses in a casual setting, demonstrating the close ties the monarch has with the diplomatic community here.

Today, 27 countries have set up diplomatic missions in Bandar Seri Begawan. Brunei Darussalam has established diplomatic relations with 163 countries across the globe since gaining independence in 1984. - Borneo Bulletin (1 October 2013)