Royal audience to Vietnamese Minister
By Lyna Mohamad

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, Minister of Defence and Supreme Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, yesterday consented to receive in audience the Deputy Minister of National Defence of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Huy Hieu.

The royal audience, that took place at the Istana Nurul Iman, also saw the attendance of Deputy Minister of Defence Pehin Datu Singamanteri Col (Rtd) Dato Seri Paduka Hj Mohammad Yasmin Hj Umar, Permanent Secretary at the Prime Minister's Office Dyg Hjh Salbiah Hj Sulaiman and Permanent Secretary at MINDEF Dato Paduka Hj Mustappa Hj Sirat.

The four-day official visit by the Deputy Minister aims to strengthen the friendly relations and to further develop existing defence cooperation between both countries as well as the armed forces.

A day earlier, the visiting Vietnamese Deputy Minister of National Defence paid a courtesy call to the Deputy Minister of Defence at MINDEF, Bolkiah Garrison, where his arrival was greeted by Pehin Col (Rtd) Dato Seri Paduka Hj Mohammad Yasmin.

Also greeting the arrival of Senior Lt General Nguyen Huy Hieu and delegates were permanent secretary at MINDEF, commander of RBAF and deputy permanent secretaries at MINDEF.

Prior to the visit at MINDEF, Senior Lt General Nguyen Huy Hieu was given a General Salute ceremony by the Guard of Honour and later invited to inspect the Guard of Honour comprising personnel of the Royal Brunei Land Forces.

Following the General Salute ceremony, the delegation proceeded to the ministry's conference room for the courtesy call, followed by a presentation and a bilateral discussion on issues of mutual interest pertaining to defence cooperation between both countries.

The visit by the Vietnam Deputy Minister of National Defence significantly aims at fostering closer bilateral relations and explore areas of cooperation between Brunei Darussalam and Vietnam, in the field of defence in particular.

Senior Lt General Nguyen Huy Hieu and delegation visiting Brunei from March 15-18, also visited several places of interest in the capital. (18th March 2007)