Duterte returns from Brunei visit
President Rodrigo Duterte is back in Manila after a quick but “productive” visit to Brunei, having boosted the country’s ties with the tiny but wealthy state.
Mr. Duterte returned to the country in the early hours of Saturday after attending the golden jubilee celebration of Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah’s accession to the throne, Malacañang said.
Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said Mr. Duterte also reaffirmed the country’s relationship with Cambodia, Malaysia and Indonesia, whose leaders were likewise present at the celebration.
Abella said Mr. Duterte personally conveyed his warm greetings to Bolkiah, who is also a supporter of efforts to bring peace to Mindanao.
“The President has described His Majesty the Sultan as a friend of the Philippines in the truest and most profound sense of the word; he also recognizes His Majesty the Sultan’s principled commitment to the pursuit of just and lasting peace and development in Mindanao, the well-being of Filipinos in Brunei Darussalam, and his unequalled efforts to bring the two countries closer to each other,” he said.
Mr. Duterte wants to further strengthen the country’s relationship with the Brunei, he added.
“The President looks forward to further broaden and deepen bilateral cooperation with Brunei Darussalam, as well as to advancing efforts toward a more peaceful, prosperous and progressive Asean,” he said.
Mr. Duterte left for Brunei on Thursday evening.
The other leaders present at the lavish celebration were Jordan’s King Abdullah II, Great Britain’s Prince Edward and Princess Sophie, Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak, Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Laos Vice President Phankham Viphavanh, Myanmar’s Foreign Minister Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Vietnam’s Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh and Oman’s Deputy Prime Minister Sayyid Asaad bin Tariq al-Said.
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