Message by Ambassador of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to Brunei Darussalam Tran Van Khoa
As the year 2020 draws to a close, I would like to take a moment to reflect on Vietnam – Brunei relations over the past year as well as bilateral cooperation in the capacity of ASEAN Chairmanship handed over from Vietnam to Brunei this November.
I wish to extend our deepest appreciation to 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 for efforts to effectively contain the spread of coronavirus and protect Brunei citizens as well as its foreign residents alike.
The Socialist Republic of Vietnam and Brunei Darussalam have been sharing warm and long standing ties based on mutual trust and friendship over the past years.
During a State Visit to Vietnam in 2019, His Majesty and General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong, State President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam have agreed to upgrade Vietnam – Brunei cooperative relations to comprehensive partnership, bringing bilateral relations into a new height.
Under this new framework, the two countries are exploring new opportunities to enhance cooperation in the fields of politics, security and defence, trade and investment, agriculture, education, and people-to-people exchanges.
In February, Minister of Public Security of Vietnam General To Lam, leading a high-ranking delegation, paid a working visit to Brunei Darussalam at the invitation of Minister of Defence II Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof, the Chairman of the National Security Committee of the Government of Brunei Darussalam.
The visit concluded with fruitful results where the two sides agreed to continue strengthening cooperation between law enforcement agencies of both countries; to enhance various collaboration and effective support toward each other at regional and international forums, particularly those within the framework of ASEAN and ASEANPOL.
Vietnam is appreciative to receive full support from Brunei Darussalam in our role as a non-permanent member of the United National Security Council for the term in 2020-2021.
In efforts to cope with the global pandemic this year, Vietnam and Brunei continue to collaborate closely, both bilaterally and multilaterally, particularly under specific initiatives agreed among ASEAN leaders.
I would like to thank the Government of Brunei and local authorities for strong cooperation with the Embassy of Vietnam in Brunei Darussalam, allowing us to organise five charter flights during the year to repatriate about 1,000 stranded citizens and other workers. Vietnam would also like to express our gratitude to Brunei for the strong and cooperative support during our ASEAN Chairmanship year.
In 2020, Vietnam has fulfilled major responsibilities at both regional and international level, namely the concurrent roles as ASEAN Chair and non-permanent member of the United National Security Council (2020-2021). Earlier this year, Vietnam rolled out the 2020 ASEAN agenda with our chairmanship theme to be ‘Cohesive and Responsive’.
Throughout the year, we have identified our new priorities to develop collective efforts against the COVID-19 pandemic, including addressing issues on economic integration, establishing joint groups and common protocols related to public health emergencies, and sharing of information and measures countering Covid-19.
Considering ASEAN as a focal point in our foreign policy, Vietnam has performed our tireless efforts and substantial contribution, especially in our leadership capacity to promote dialogue and cooperation among member states to cope with the Covid-19 challenge throughout the year.
We fully support and will continue to closely collaborate with Brunei to further promote the ASEAN Chair role.
I wish cooperation between our two countries in particular, and of our ASEAN bloc in general, will further flourish in the years ahead.