Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario visited Brunei Darussalam on Thursday to meet with Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Brunei, to advance bilateral, multilateral and regional cooperation.
Discussions between the two foreign ministers were comprehensive, constructive and productive, a statement from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.
On a bilateral basis after the state visit to Manila in 2013 of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, the two ministers discussed ways to further promote cooperation in labor, health, information technology and multimedia, defense and law enforcement and trade and investment.
“Both foreign ministers acknowledged the need to look into other areas of potential cooperation, to further deepen and strengthen bilateral relations,” the department said.
Del Rosario expressed appreciation for Brunei’s warm hosting of over 21,000 Filipinos.
The prince acknowledged the positive contributions of Filipinos to Brunei’s development.
The 3rd Philippines-Brunei Joint Commission for Bilateral Consultations, which serves as the road map for bilateral cooperation, has been scheduled in Manila in 2015.
Del Rosario thanked the prince for his country’s continued support for the peace process and for its role in the International Monitoring Team tracking a ceasefire between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
He also expressed appreciation for the assistance and support of the people and government of Brunei for the victims and communities affected by Typhoon Yolanda.
The two sides exchanged views on the rising tension in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea] and affirmed their commitment to effectively manage the tensions and to seek a peaceful resolution of the disputes.
Brunei Darussalam and the Philippines are claimants to the resource-rich region along with Malaysia, Vietnam and Taiwan. China claims almost 90 percent of the region.
Both affirmed the positive role of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in promoting regional peace and stability.
Del Rosario also expressed admiration for Brunei’s chairmanship of Asean in 2013.