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February 29, 2024

A Series of State Visits to Brunei

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February 29, 2024

A number of high-level ceremonial as well as bilateral state visits were conducted to Brunei. In January, the Sultan’s son Prince Abdul Mateen’s multi-day, lavish wedding ceremony attended by ASEAN heads of government such as Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, drawing great geopolitical attention to the Sultanate.

In the proceeding weeks, ASEAN leaders have capitalized on this occasion by reaffirming bilateral commitments. In January, Singaporean President Tharman Shanmugaratnam visited Singapore Armed Forces’ training in Brunei which was held as part of a series of joint military exercises with the Royal Brunei Armed Forces. The military relationship between the two ASEAN states is significant within the context of multilateral security concerns and related agreements such as the Singapore-Brunei Defense Policy Dialogue as well as ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meetings.

On February 15, Malaysian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohamad Hasan had an audience with Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah as well as Bruneian Minister of Foreign Affairs II Erywan Yusof. The senior officials discussed the importance of strengthening Malaysia-Brunei trade and investment on what is the 40th anniversary of their diplomatic relationship. They also highlighted the role of the Sarawak Trade and Tourism Office (STATO) in promoting the energy and tourism investment potential of northern Borneo.

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