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In Brief

Obama Meets with Sultan of Brunei Before ASEAN Conference

12 March 2013

Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and President Obama seated and shaking hands (AP Images)

In his meeting with Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, President Obama looks ahead to the October ASEAN conference and praises the sultan's English-language programs for youth and the military cooperation between Brunei and the United States.

President Obama welcomed Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah to the White House March 12 and said he is looking forward to attending the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) conference that Brunei will host in October.

The conference will include discussions on energy and climate change, expanding commerce through the Trans-Pacific Partnership, maritime issues, education, English-language programs, and U.S.-ASEAN-Chinese humanitarian and disaster relief joint exercises, Obama said.

The president praised Sultan Hassanal for financing several English-language teaching programs for Southeast Asian youth, which he said will expand commerce and strengthen ties between the United States and nations in the region. He also said the Brunei-U.S. military relationship “has the capacity to help people in times of need and to try to help avoid conflict, rather than start conflict.”

The sultan said the United States “has been a good friend to ASEAN” and that he looks forward to welcoming Obama to Brunei in October.