BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – Brunei and Türkiye signed five memoranda of understanding (MoUs) on Tuesday to strengthen research, education, defence, cultural cooperation, and bilateral consultations through more people-to-people exchanges.

His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah is currently on a state visit to Türkiye and met with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara for a bilateral meeting.

The meetings covered a range of bilateral issues, as well as regional and international matters, such as developments in ASEAN, Türkiye’s role in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and mediation efforts in the Russia-Ukraine war.

MoUs to boost cooperation

The leaders also witnessed the signing of five agreements between Brunei and Türkiye on research, education, defence, cultural cooperation, and bilateral consultations.

Under the MoU on Protocol on Cooperation between the National Archives of the two countries, the agreement will promote research; exchange reproduced samples of archival documents; exchange experts in the field of archives; exchange publications on archives management; and organise scientific or technical meetings.

The MoU on education cooperation aims to establish the framework for both countries to organise academic and scientific exchanges between higher education institutions.

The Declaration of Intent (DoI) on defence cooperation aims to establish a framework to enhance the relationship between the military of both countries.

In an effort to encourage cultural exchange between Brunei and Türkiye, the MoU on cultural cooperation will facilitate collaboration in the fields of music, theatre, archives, libraries, museums, cultural heritage, dance, visual arts, film, copyright, folk-crafts, decorative and applied arts, circus, and other artistic forms.

Lastly, the MoU on bilateral consultations aims to conduct regular exchanges of views on issues of mutual interest to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the pursuit of common goals.

Brunei’s Sultan lays a wreath at the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder and first president of Türkiye. Photo: Information Department

Following the signing, the two leaders addressed a joint press conference in the capital, Ankara.

“Brunei’s strategic location in Southeast Asia and the rapid development on Borneo Island provides plenty of investment opportunities for both sides to pursue together,” His Majesty said.

In a titah, His Majesty said he was pleased with the progress made between Brunei and Türkiye since his last State Visit in 2012, namely in the fields of education, defence, trade, and economic cooperation.

He also extended an offer for Turkish students to pursue their postgraduate studies in Brunei under the Brunei Darussalam Government Scholarship, and welcomed collaboration in areas such as arts and culture, and the agri-food industry.

His Majesty also conveyed his deepest condolences to the people of Türkiye following the devastating earthquakes that jolted the country’s southern region on February 6, adding that Brunei is ready to offer assistance in any way it can.

Erdogan shared that the comprehensive discussion on bilateral relations will further advance cooperation, as well as strengthen people-to-people relations. Both leaders also discussed the latest global developments, particularly issues related to Palestine, Rohingya Muslims and Islamophobia, and emphasised the importance of enhancing cooperation at regional and international levels.

Brunei established diplomatic relations with Türkiye on January 1, 1984.