His Majesty arrives to a warm Australian welcome

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam arrived in Canberra, Australia Tuesday, on a six-day state visit to the continent. The special aircraft of His Majesty arrived at the Australian Defence Establishment in Fairbairn at about nine in the morning local time, or six a.m. Brunei time.

His Majesty was welcomed on arrival by the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, His Excellency Major General Michael Jeffery, the Deputy Prime Minister, The Honourable John Anderson, and other top Australian officials.

At the welcoming ceremony, a twenty one gun-salute marked the start of the state visit. His Majesty was given a Royal Salute and consented to inspect a guard of honour mounted by the three branches of the Royal Australian Armed Forces. Later His Majesty was introduced to members of the Australian welcoming party. Members of the Brunei official delegation were also introduced to the Governor General.

Brunei Darussalam established diplomatic relations with Australia in 1984. Both countries have set up diplomatic missions in each other's capitals. Australia, like Brunei Darussalam is a member of the Commonwealth. It has a population of twenty million people with Canberra as capital of the vast country with a land area of more than seven thousand seven hundred thousand square kilometers.

In 2003, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince paid an official visit to Australia. The visit underscored the good relationship between the two countries.