UK minister visits British Forces Brunei

Aziz Idris

United Kingdom’s (UK) Minister of State at the Ministry of Defence Baroness Annabel Goldie was in Brunei Darussalam recently for the first time for a three-day introductory visit after resuming the role in July 2019.

Baroness Goldie visited the British Forces Brunei in Seria, underscoring the importance that the UK attaches to its defence relationship with Brunei and other countries in Southeast Asia.

The visit also highlighted the growing importance of likeminded partners willing to work together to maintain a safe and stable economic environment. The UK remains committed to promoting bilateral military engagements with Brunei.

British High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam Richard Lindsay said in a statement, “We value highly the depth of our defence relationship with Brunei Darussalam. We recognise the important role of the British Army Garrison in Seria.

Interactions between the RBAF and the British Armed Forces have broadened in recent years with more frequent ship visits and bilateral exercises. These interactions have enhanced the interoperability and people-to-people ties between the personnel of both armed forces.”

Her key responsibilities include UK defence engagement across the Asia Pacific region, and she is the spokesperson for defence issues within the UK’s House of Lords.

Also during her visit, His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam received the British minister in an audience ceremony.

Baroness Goldie also paid a courtesy call to Minister of Defence II Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof and Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) Commander Major General Pengiran Dato Paduka Seri Aminan bin Pengiran Haji Mahmud.

During the meetings, both sides reiterated the strength and depth of defence relations between Brunei Darussalam and the UK. They also exchanged views on regional security issues, mutually beneficial regional training activities and potential security developments.

Baroness Goldie will also visit Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and Vietnam during her regional visit.

ABOVE & BELOW: United Kingdom’s (UK) Minister of State at the Ministry of Defence Baroness Annabel Goldie during the visit to the British Forces Brunei in Seria. PHOTO: BRITISH HIGH COMMISSION IN BRUNEI DARUSSALAM