Closer Brunei, Cambodia ties
By Aemy Azlena
Photo by Information Department



His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam last night hosted a Royal Banquet in honour of the King of Cambodia, His Majesty Preah Bat Samdech Preah Boromneath Norodom Sihamoni at the Istana Nurul Iman.

The Cambodian King arrived yesterday for a three-day State visit.

Soon after Their Majesties arrived at the hall, the national anthems of Cambodia and Brunei Darussalam were played.

This was followed by a doa selamat read by Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awg Abdul Aziz bin Juned, the State Mufti.

His Majesty then delivered a titah and expressed his hope that they can share the experiences that links Brunei and Cambodia as friends and partners in the modern Southeast Asia.

His Majesty said that in the heart of all the programmes of cooperation lies providing the opportunities for the people in member countries of Asean to meet the challenges of today's world with a confidence and hope that is based on their own knowledge, practical skills and talent.

"Those are practical tasks, Your Majesty, and we are delighted to be sharing them with our friends and colleagues in the Kingdom of Cambodia. Many of them involve the future, however. But there are many other things that we already share and we are equally delighted to have the opportunity that Your Majesty's visit offers to express and reaffirm them.

"They are less tangible than formal programmes of cooperation. But in some ways they are even more important.

"They reflect the spirit of our modern region; the friendship we share; the desire we have to work together and help one another; the wish to learn more about each other and to understand each other well; and perhaps above all else the quality that underpins all others in a modern region, respect of each other," said His Majesty.

This respect (which includes the rich diversity of background, faiths, cultures and historical experience, as well as the respect for both countries' people's individual strengths, talents and abilities) exists in abundance between Brunei and the Kingdom of Cambodia, added His Majesty.

In reply, His Majesty Preah Bat Samdech Preah Boromneath Norodom Sihamoni, the King of Cambodia expressed his gratitude for the warm welcome extended by His Majesty the Sultan of Brunei, the Brunei government and the Brunei people, as well as for the support in the national reconstruction and development of Cambodia in the fields of economy and social development.

He also brought greetings from his august parents, His Majesty the Heroic King Norodom Sihanouk, Father of the Cambodian Nation and Her Majesty Queen Norodom Monineath Sihanouk, Mother of the Cambodian Nation.

The King of Cambodia said, "The continuous exchanges of visits between the leaders of Cambodia and Brunei has strengthened the bonds of friendship and solidarity existing between our two countries in order to speed up the bilateral cooperation in all fields for the join benefit of our two peoples.

His Majesty the King of Cambodia then raised a toast to the good health, long life and happiness of His Majesty the Sultan and the royal family, invited guests and the people of Brunei, as well as to the enduring friendship between Brunei and the Kingdom of Cambodia.

Also present at the banquet were His Royal Highness Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, HRH Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, HRH Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah and other members of the royal family.

Also present were senior government officials, ambassadors and special guests. Prior to the royal banquet, His Majesty the Sultan consented to a pre-dinner audience followed by an exchange of gifts between Their Majesties. - Borneo Bulletin (25th Mar 2008)