Brunei-Thai defence ties go from strength to strength

Izah Azahari

Brunei Darussalam and Thailand have close and long-standing defence relations. Bilateral defence ties have continued to be strengthened through various wide-ranging interactions between the Royal Thai Armed Forces and Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF).

Thai Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Wanthanee Viputwongsakul said this during a dinner reception in celebration of the Royal Thai Armed Forces Day at The Rizqun International Hotel last night.

The ambassador elaborated that these interactions include regular exchange of visits. In the previous week, the Commander in Chief of the Royal Thai Army General Apirat Kongsompong visited Brunei Darussalam, signifying the strong friendship between the two armed forces. Other engagements include exercises, training and cross-attendance of courses, which have contributed to the strong ties between the two armed forces across all levels.

“Our two countries also cooperate closely and extensively on multilateral platforms such as the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) and ADMM-Plus,” the ambassador said, adding, “I am pleased to note that the 13th ADMM meeting during Thailand’s Chairmanship last year had been fruitful, particularly with the adoption of the Concept Paper on the Expansion of ASEAN Direct Communications Infrastructure (ADI) to the Plus Countries.”

The ambassador said that the ADI is one of the initiatives spearheaded by Brunei during its 2013 Chairmanship and it is a significant contribution to confidence building measure in the ADMM process, where Thailand will continue to support Brunei’s initiatives.

“Thailand’s commitment in enhancing bilateral relations with Brunei Darussalam includes defence ties. I have every confidence that the defence relations between our two countries and armed forces will continue to be enhanced in the years ahead, which will contribute to maintaining the peaceful environment of our ASEAN region as well as the world at large,” she added.

Commander of the Royal Brunei Air Force and Acting Chief of Defence Forces Brigadier General (U) Dato Seri Pahlawan Haji Hamzah bin Haji Sahat and his spouse, Datin Dr Hajah Anita Binurul Zahrina binti Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Wijaya Dato Seri Setia Haji Abdul Aziz, were the guests of honour. The guests of honour, ambassador and Defence Attaché at the Royal Thai Embassy in Brunei Darussalam Colonel Nopadej Pansri and his spouse Colonel Nattanan Pansri later cut a cake to mark the occasion.

Commander of the Royal Brunei Air Force and Acting Chief of Defence Forces Brigadier General (U) Dato Seri Pahlawan Haji Hamzah bin Haji Sahat and spouse Datin Dr Hajah Anita Binurul Zahrina binti Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Wijaya Dato Seri Setia Haji Abdul Aziz; Thai Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Wanthanee Viputwongsakul and Defence Attaché at the Royal Thai Embassy in Brunei Darussalam Colonel Nopadej Pansri and spouse Colonel Nattanan Pansri during the cake cutting. PHOTO: IZAH AZAHARI