Statement on the Visit of Counselor Chollet to Brunei

U.S. Department of State Counselor Derek Chollet applauds during the Pahlawan Warrior opening ceremony at Lumut Camp, Brunei, June 13, 2022.

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.

A group of people stands and poses in front of a wooden house.
Counselor Chollet and Ambassador McClelland poses for a photo with civil society leaders and representatives in front of Kunyit 7 Lodge.

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.

A group of military and civilian officials stand in front of soldiers in attention with the Brunei and American flags overhead.
Counselor Chollet, Ambassador McClelland and Lt Commander Sam Kim pose for a group photo with the Royal Brunei Armed Forces and U.S. Army at the Pahlawan Warrior opening ceremony.
A civilian man and a military official sitting on a couch, talking to one another.
On the sidelines of the Pahlawan Warrior opening, Counselor Chollet met with the Commander of Royal Brunei Land Force, Brigadier General Dato Seri Pahlawan Saifulrizal bin Abdul Latif.

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.


Media links:

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)