State Department Counselor Derek Chollet paid an official visit to Brunei on June 12-13. The Counsellor, accompanied by U.S. Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Caryn McClelland, met with several government officials and civil society leaders during his short trip to the sultanate.
On June 12, Counselor Chollet met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs II The Honorable Dato Seri Setia Haji Erywan bin Pehin Datu Pekerma Jaya Haji Mohd. Yusof to discuss regional security cooperation through ASEAN, and affirmed the United States’ commitment to strengthen Brunei-U.S. bilateral ties. He engaged with civil society leaders on a wide range of issues including gender equality, humanitarian assistance, economic diversification efforts through the creative industry; and learned how exchange programs such as YSEALI and IVLP have built robust people-to-people networks between Bruneian and regional participants.
On June 13, Counselor Chollet and Ambassador McClelland witnessed the opening ceremony of Pahlawan Warrior, a bilateral military exercise between the Royal Brunei Land Force and the U.S. Army. The exercise focuses on enhancing partner land force capacity and capabilities, addresses internal security challenges and increases interoperability operations that reaffirms shared security commitments to the Indo-Pacific region.
Counselor Chollet’s visit is the first high-level U.S. engagement with Brunei since Secretary John Kerry’s visit to the sultanate during Brunei’s ASEAN Chairmanship in 2013. Counselor Chollet also travelled to Thailand and Singapore during his tour in Southeast Asiafollowing up on the outcomes of last month’s U.S.-ASEAN Special Summit in Washington, DC and demonstrating the U.S. commitment to work with allies and partners to restore Burma’s path to democracy.
The Counselor’s visit highlights the deep U.S. commitment to important ASEAN and bilateral partnerships in Southeast Asia. He reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to Brunei and discussed on U.S.-Brunei’s ongoing cooperation in security, commerce, climate action, health and education.
U.S. seeks to deepen defense engagement with Brunei, ASEAN (The Scoop, June 15, 2022)
Brunei a ‘terrific’ partner to U.S. (Borneo Bulletin, June 14, 2022)
AS, Brunei terus perkukuh kerjasama dua hala (Media Permata, June 14, 2022)