Boost for Brunei, Vietnam ties

Izah Azahari

The Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in Brunei Darussalam celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Founding of the Vietnamese People Army during a dinner reception at The Rizqun International Hotel, Gadong last night.

Minister of Defence II Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof, and spouse were the guests of honour.

Ambassador of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to Brunei Darussalam Do Anh Tuan and spouse were also present.

The event began with the singing of the national anthems of both countries followed by a welcoming speech by Defence Attaché of the Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in Brunei Darussalam Senior Colonel Nguyen Tien Son.

He said the nearly 30 years of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Brunei established on February 29, 1992 has seen many changes in the region and around the world, with the cooperation and friendship between the two countries constantly strengthened and improved in the fields of politics, economics-trade, foreign affairs, security, defence, energy, culture, education, agriculture, tourism and people-to-people exchanges.

Minister of Defence II Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof, and spouse during the cake-cutting ceremony. PHOTO: IZAH AZAHARI

The defence attaché said key events in bilateral relations include the 28th ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting in Brunei Darussalam in July 1995 when Vietnam officially became the 7th member of ASEAN; and high level exchanges between leaders of the two countries, with the most recent state visit to Vietnam on March 2019 by 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, marked a milestone in the history of the two nations’ diplomatic relations.

He said the two leaders agreed to upgrade the Vietnam-Brunei friendship relations to a Comprehensive Partnership, promising to create a new framework for further cooperation in all areas, strengthening and deepening cooperation in all manners both bilaterally and internationally, where the two countries will continue to work closely together in many regional and international issues of mutual concern.

“Defence cooperation between Vietnam and Brunei Darussalam was strengthened with the Memorandum of Defence Cooperation signed in November 2005,” said Senior Colonel Nguyen. “Many military-defence cooperation activities have been deployed and expanded in areas such as the navy, military training and close coordination in multilateral defence-military activities in ASEAN and internationally.”

The defence attaché hoped that defence cooperation will continue to play an important pillar of the Vietnam-Brunei comprehensive partnership, particularly when Vietnam and Brunei will take roles as ASEAN Charimanship in 2020 and 2021, as well as to contribute substantive results to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 2022.

A cake cutting ceremony and a video presentation titled ‘Welcome to Vietnam’ enlivened the event.