The Embassy of the United States of America in Brunei Darussalam hosted a celebration to mark the 245th Independence Day of the United States (US) themed ‘The Great American West’ at The Empire Brunei yesterday.
Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abdul Mokti bin Haji Mohd Daud was the guest of honour. Government officials, business executives and civil society leaders were also present.
The Embassy of the United States of America in Brunei Darussalam Chargé d’Affaires Emily M Fleckner spoke about the longstanding ties between Brunei and the US since the signing of the Treaty of Peace, Friendship, Commerce and Navigation in 1850 – a treaty that is still in effect today.
Fleckner expressed optimism for a post-pandemic recovery, saying the US is leading the fight against COVID-19 around the world even as America is returning to normal under a successful vaccination campaign.
“We are already re-opening to Bruneian university students and the day is fast approaching when we will resume the full range of exchange programmes that have taken hundreds of Bruneians to the US and created so many wonderful people-to-people connections between our nations,” she said.
Fleckner also mentioned the strength of the US-Brunei defence partnership and the fact that Brunei is one of only two countries in the region that enjoys visa-free travel to the US for tourism and business.
She reiterated that US President Joe Biden administration’s commitment to reduce emissions and drive clean energy innovation to tackle climate change.
Fleckner presented the guest of honour with a glass replica of the saguaro cactus – an emblem of the American West and a symbol of wisdom and endurance – as a token of appreciation, before a cake cutting ceremony.
Jerudong International School (JIS) students Celine Onn Jia Yi and Isabelle Anne Sim Li Ying performed the national anthems of both nations.