Sultan in talks with Thai PM
By Azlan Othman & Lyna Mohamad

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam held a four-eye meeting yesterday with Thailand's Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont at the Istana Nurul Iman.

General Surayud's one-day trip to Brunei was part of a series of introductory visits to regional countries since his appointment on October 1.

Also present to greet the Thai Premier at the Istana Nurul Iman were His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, as well as Her Royal Highness Princess Hjh Masna, Ambassador-At-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The new Thai premier led a 33-member delegation including Pridiyathorn Devakula, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance; Nitya Pibulsonggram, Minister of Foreign Affairs; and Apai Chandana-chulaka, Minister of Labour.

After the four-eye meeting, His Majesty and the Thai premier proceeded to the green room for lunch.

The Thai Foreign Ministry in a recent statement said the Prime Minister's visit to Brunei was at the invitation of the Government of Brunei.

"Surayud would explain the political situation in Thailand to his counterpart in Brunei and the government's attempt to deal with violence in the south with peaceful means," the statement said.

Earlier, the Thai Prime Minister arrived at the Brunei International Airport where he was greeted by Minister of Health, Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Suyoi Hj Othman, and Deputy Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, Dato Paduka Seri Hj Awg Eusoff Agaki Hj Ismail.

The Thai Prime Minister was given a guard of honour by 24 personnel from the 3rd Battalion of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces.

Soon after the royal audience, Thai Prime Minister Surayud headed back to the Brunei International Airport for his departure to Singapore. - Borneo Bulletin (10th Nov 2006)