Minister of Defence II Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof received a courtesy call from Australia’s Secretary of Defence Greg Moriarty who was in Brunei Darussalam for a one-day visit.
Moriarty is the first Australian Secretary of Defence to make a working visit to Brunei. Australian High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam Nicola Rosenblum and Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Defence Brigadier General (Rtd) Dato Seri Pahlawan Shahril Anwar bin Haji Ma’awiah were also present.
During the call, both sides reaffirmed their longstanding and close friendship between both countries in the field of defence. Both sides also expressed their utmost satisfaction with the progress of defence relations between Brunei and Australia and the active bilateral as well as multilateral engagements particularly within the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus).
The Australian Secretary of Defence also made a courtesy call on Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) Major General Pengiran Dato Paduka Seri Aminan bin Pengiran Haji Mahmud. Also in attendance was the RBAF Chief of Staff and Director of Intelligence.
As part of his working visit, the Australian Secretary of Defence also visited the Royal Brunei Navy (RBN) where he called on Commander of the RBN First Admiral Dato Seri Pahlawan Haji Othman bin Haji Suhaili @ Suhaily. The Australian delegation was given a tour of the offshore patrol vessel KDB Darussalam at the Muara Naval Base.
The Australian Secretary of Defence’s visit underscores the long-standing defence relations between Brunei and Australia that was fostered through a spectrum of bilateral engagements including in the form of exchanges of visits, agreements, intelligence exchanges, Joint Defence Working Committee meetings, military exercises, trainings and courses.
Beyond bilateral engagements, both sides also actively interact through multilateral engagements including under the ambit of the ADMM-Plus where Brunei and Australia are the current co-chairs of the ADMM-Plus Experts’ Working Group on Military Medicine for the current 2020-2023 cycle.