His Majesty leaves for Italy

HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam this morning left for Milan, Italy to attend the 10th Asia-Europe Summit Meeting (ASEM) which will be held on Oct 16 and 17.

Accompanying His Majesty are His Royal Highness Prince Abdul Wakeel and Her Royal Highness Princess Ameerah Wardatul Bolkiah.

Before departing from the Istana Nurul Iman, a Doa Selamat was read by Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia (Dr) Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Aziz bin Juned, the State Mufti.

Present at His Majesty the Sultan's Flight Hangar to bid farewell to His Majesty were His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah and His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik as well as other members of the royal family.

Also present at the hangar were YAM Pengiran Cheterias, the Speaker of the Legislative Council, Cabinet Ministers, Members of the Privy Council, Deputy Ministers, the Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces and the Commissioner of Police.

The 10th ASEM summit on Thursday and Friday will bring 53 countries – representing more than half the world gross domestic product and over 60 per cent of the global population – to the northern Italian city. The event has been held every other year since 1996, dpa reported.

This year gathering, under the motto Responsible Partnership for Sustainable Growth and Security, will also focus on economic challenges and trade between Asia and Europe, with China advocating a New Silk Road to foster business relations.

Issues relating to climate change, human rights and energy security are also on the summit agenda.

On Friday, the leaders will discuss sensitive issues behind closed doors, such as the advance of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, and the broader fight against terrorism.

The tensions in Ukraine and the Korean peninsula are also likely to be addressed by the 53 countries in this format, according to EU sources, as well as the Ebola epidemic in Africa. - Borneo Bulletin (15 October 2014)