India, Brunei discuss defence, security, energy cooperation

New Delhi, Jan 25 : Cooperation in defence, security an energy among other areas came up for discussion during a bilateral meeting Prime Minister Narendra held with Sultan of Brunei Haji Hassanal Bolkiah here on Thursday

"Bolstering ties with Brunei Darussalam," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.

Kumar said that Modi and Bolkiah "had positive discussion on cooperation in defence and security, energy, ICT, education, health and space".

Bilateral trade between India and Brunei stood at over (Dollar) 504 million in 2016-17, according to figures provided by Brunei's Department of Economic Planning and Development.

Brunei and India share a fair degree of commonality in their perceptions on major international issues.

The southeast Asian nation has been supportive of India's Act East Policy and expansion and deepening of cooperation with the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) regionbal bloc.

Brunei also as served India's country coordinator with the Asean for three years from 2012.

Earlier on Thursday, Modi also held bilateral meetings with Thailand and Singapore Prime Ministers Prayut Chan-o-cha and Lee Hsien Loong.

Bolkiah arrived here on Wednesday to attend the Commemorative Summit to mark 25 years of the India-Asean Dialogue Partnership to be held later on Thursday.

Heads of state and government of all 10 Asean nations will be attending the Summit.

The Asean comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Under its Act East Policy, New Delhi is pushing to boost its relationship via connectivity, commerce and culture with this regional bloc.

On Friday, Bolkiah will be among all 10 Asean heads of state and government who will attend this year's Republic Day celebrations as guests of honour, something unprecedented, since the leader of only one foreign country has attended the event as the chief guest all these years.



Source: IANS