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Cablegate: Ambassador Todd Outlines Agenda with Sultan Of

VZCZCXRO0975
RR RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHNH
DE RUEHBD #0259/01 2740851
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 300851Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4350
INFO RUCNAZE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE
RUCQSAS/HQ USSOCOM FP MACDILL AFB FL
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN 000259

C O R R E C T E D C O P Y (ADDED ADDRESSEE)

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP/MTS, EAP/PD, OIC/CUMBER

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/29/2018
TAGS: PGOV PINR PM PREL EDU BX
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR TODD OUTLINES AGENDA WITH SULTAN OF
BRUNEI AND BRUNEI'S FOREIGN MINISTER

BANDAR SER 00000259 001.2 OF 002


Classified By: AMBASSADOR TODD FOR REASONS 1.4 (b) and (d)

1 (C) SUMMARY: On September 15, 2008, Ambassador Todd
presented his credentials to His Majesty, the Sultan of
Brunei. The Sultan and Ambassador Todd met afterwards in a
meeting that moved the policy agenda beyond the normal
niceties expected at a credentialing ceremony. The
Ambassador shared his thoughts on increased cooperation
between Brunei and the United States, his lengthy experience
in Washington, possible visits of the Sultan and Crown Prince
to the US, and increasing educational exchanges. The Sultan
was especially interested in educational exchanges (including
the military academies) and possible visits to the U.S.
Ambassador Todd also met with Prince Mohamed, the Foreign
Minister, prior to his ceremony with the Sultan. Their
discussion focused improving efficiency in the Brunei
government and on Ambassador Todd,s desire to enhance
economic cooperation. END SUMMARY.

MOVING BEYOND FORM
--------------------

2. (C) While the pomp and circumstance of Ambassador Todd,s
credentialing ceremony was impressive, his meeting with the
Sultan was able to move the policy discussion beyond the
traditional meet and greet. While the Bruneians appreciated
Ambassador Todd,s attention to detail during the
credentialing ceremony, it was the focused nature of his
conversation with the Sultan that received immediate kudos
from GoB officials who were present. Ambassador Todd weaved
in a number of key issue points, while still allowing the
Sultan to get a better sense of both his policy background
and his years of Washington experience. The Sultan concurred
with Ambassador Todd that enhanced educational exchanges were
important. He noted that he supports the Ministry of
Education's efforts to increase scholarships and other
opportunities for Brunei's students to study in the US.
Ambassador Todd was able to provide a high level of personal
detail in describing how Brunei's two students at West Point
and the Air Force Academy are faring in their studies and
adjustment to life at a service academy. The Sultan seemed
especially pleased (and amused) to learn that the Air Force
cadet has lost a considerable amount of weight. The Sultan
was keen on the idea of future visits to the US. These would
incorporate visits to various US military bases, including
Fort Bragg, SOUTHCOM, and PACCOM. The Sultan was pleased to
hear that Ambassador Todd has already spoken with military
leaders in advance of a possible visit.


NEED FOR FOCUS
---------------

3. (C) During the Ambassador's meeting with His Royal
Highness, Prince Mohamed, it because clear that the Prince
believed the Brunei government needs more focus and
efficiency. He talked at length with Ambassador Todd about
the inefficient nature of many departments. Ambassador Todd
noted he was very impressed with the efforts of the Brunei
Economic Development Board (BEDB). BEDB is currently working
to tender a number of contracts that normally fall under the
various Ministries and they are bringing private sector
methods into the process. Ambassador Todd emphasized that he
has a long service record in Washington and he looks forward
to working with the Foreign Ministry directly. Ambassador
emphasized that he will do everything he can to assist US
businesses in increasing economic ties with Brunei. Prince
Mohamed also offered his appreciation for Special Envoy
Cumber,s recent visit to Brunei.

AMBASSADOR'S COMMENT
--------------------

4. (C) The meeting with His Majesty, the Sultan, allowed the
Embassy to move beyond form and function. The same can be
said for the meeting with Prince Mohamed. What was readily
apparent was that the Sultan deeply values the U.S friendship
and wants to build on it. He also respects those who provide
him with unbiased and timely information, as we were able to
do in our meetings. Following the ceremony, the French
Ambassador noted that the only reason he and the other two
Ambassadors who were at the credentialing ceremony were given
more than a few moments was due to the U.S. influence on the
process and our wish to have substantive talks. Since then,
we have received numerous compliments both from within the
Palace, within the Ministries, and from others in the
Diplomatic Corps, about how well our meetings went and the
level of interaction we had with both His Majesty and Prince
Mohamed. We are already building on that rapport.

TODD

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