Source: ASEAN Chair 2013 website

Meanwhile earlier on, leaders and representatives of the Southeast Asian nations arrived in the sultanate to attend the 22nd ASEAN Summit. The agenda of the two-day meeting is to discuss ASEAN’s Central Role and Regional Architectures, the bloc’s future direction, as well as to exchange views on regional and international issues.

The first delegate to arrive in the country was the President of Senate, Parliament of Malaysia, His Excellency Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang, as the special representative of the Prime Minister of Malaysia. On arrival at the Brunei International Airport, His Excellency was greeted by the Permanent Secretary at the Prime Minister’s Office, Awg Hj Mohd Abdoh bin Dato Seri Setia Hj Abdul Salam.

The Prime Minister of Cambodia, His Excellency Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, arrived in the morning. His Excellency was welcomed by the Permanent Secretaries at the Prime Minister’s Office, Awg Haji Mohd Abdoh and Awg Haji Azhar bin Haji Yahya.

The rest of the leaders and representatives arrived in the afternoon. The President of the Republic of Indonesia, His Excellency Dato Laila Utama Doctor Haji Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, and his wife, Datin Ibu Hajah Ani Yudhoyono, were welcomed by the Permanent Secretaries at the  Prime Minister’s Office, Awg Haji Azhar and Awg Haji Yahya bin Haji Idris. This year’s summit will include the deliberations of the 9th Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines, BIMP-EAGA, East ASEAN Growth Area. The meeting is expected to put an emphasis on the ASEAN Connectivity Master Plan.

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore, His Excellency Lee Hsien Loong, and his wife, Mrs Lee Hsien Loong, were welcomed by the Permanent Secretaries at the Prime Minister’s Office, Awg Haji Mohd Abdoh and Awang Haji Jamain bin Julaihi. Brunei Darussalam assumes the Chairmanship of ASEAN from January to December 2013.

This was followed by the arrival of the Prime Minister of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, His Excellency Thongsing Thammavong, who was greeted at the Airport by the Permanent Secretaries at the Prime Minister’s Office, Awg Haji Azhar and Awg Haji Yahya bin Haji Idris.

The Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, His Excellency Nguyen Tan Dung, arrived soon after. His Excellency was welcomed by the Permanent Secretaries at the Prime Minister’s Office, Awg Haji Mohd Abdoh and Awang Haji Jamain. The two-day summit and other related meetings are expected to set the agenda for subsequent ASEAN Meetings scheduled for the year, leading to the 23rd ASEAN Summit in October.

A few minutes later, the President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, His Excellency U Thein Sein, arrived at the airport, and was welcomed by the Permanent Secretaries at the Prime Minister’s Office, Awg Haji Yahya and Awg Haji Jamain. As Chair of ASEAN, it is also one of Brunei Darussalam’s prerogatives to continue strengthening ASEAN’s external relations with Dialogue Partners, including through the commencement of negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, RCEP.

Arriving at the same time was the Prime Minister of Thailand, Her Excellency Yingluck Shinawatra. Her Excellency was welcomed the Permanent Secretaries at the Prime Minister’s Office, Awg Haji Abdoh and Awg Haji Azhar. Among the priorities of Brunei’s Chairmanship is to carry on with the work of past Chairs, especially in implementing previous decisions of the ASEAN Summit agreements and work programmes.

The last to arrive at the Brunei International Airport was the President of the Republic of the Philippines, His Excellency Benigno S. Aquino the Third. His Excellency was welcomed the Permanent Secretaries at the Prime Minister’s Office, Awg Haji Azhar and Awg Haji Jamain. During the 9th BIMP-EAGA Summit, leaders of East-ASEAN Growth Area are expected to hold discussions on expediting the implementation of the prioritised infrastructure projects in the region, especially in transportation, energy, trade and Information Communication Technology, ICT.

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