Brunei and Australia fortify defence relations

Australian soldiers at Robertson Barracks, 30 km from Darwin. Brunei and Australia expressed satisfaction with the current bilateral defence relations and pledged to strengthen as well as enhance the existing cooperation, particularly with regards to military exercises and trainings.

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN - Defence relations between Brunei and Australia are set to further strengthen following a formal bilateral discussion that was held earlier this week on Monday, February 27, at the Parliament House in Canberra.

The formal bilateral discussion took place during Deputy Minister of Defence Dato Paduka Mustappa Hj Sirat's ongoing official visit to Australia upon the invitation of Australian Minister of Defence Stephen Smith.

According to a statement, Brunei and Australia expressed satisfaction with the current bilateral defence relations and pledged to strengthen as well as enhance the existing cooperation, particularly with regards to military exercises and trainings.

The expected outcome is increased interoperability between the armed forces of both countries. The two countries also hope to explore the possiblity of collaborating closely in the area of science and technology.

During the discussion, Brunei also briefed on its preparation of the Chairmanship for the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus) in 2013. Australia expressed its strong support for Brunei to host the upcoming ADDM-Plus.

A roundtable discussion with officials from various departments under the Australian Deparment of Defence and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade was held following the formal bilateral discussion.

Dato Paduka Mustappa also made a visit to the Australian War Memorial accompanied by Australian Defence Minister Stephen Smith.