Aquino joins Asean leaders in Brunei royal wedding-A A +A
Sunday, September 23, 2012
PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III took a quick trip to Brunei on Sunday to attend the royal wedding ceremony of Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah’s daughter and to engage with other leaders of neighboring countries in an "informal diplomacy."
Malacanang said it was a “very rare” opportunity for the President to meet with fellow Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) leaders in an informal occasion.
“There are a number of leaders that were invited to the wedding and President Aquino may have a chance to engage them in a setting that is informal,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a Radyo ng Bayan interview.
The leaders of Singapore, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand were also invited to the occasion.
A picture from Radio Television Malacanang posted on Facebook showed that President Aquino had an informal meeting with Thailand Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra before he departed from Brunei International Airport Sunday afternoon. The details of the meeting are not known yet.
Yingluck visited the Philippines last January when Aquino’s celebrity sister, Kris, blurted her admiration to the Thai leader, even saying that she is a “good match” to her bachelor brother.
Valte did not know who the other leaders that President Aquino met with during the event.
This was the second visit of Aquino to Brunei since he became President. The first was an official visit in June 2011.
Princess Hajah Hafiza Sururul Bolkiah, 32, the fifth child of the Sultan and his wife Queen Saleha, wed Haji Muhammad Ruzaini on Thursday.
Sunday’s royal wedding ceremony at Istana Nurul Iman capped the weeklong celebration for the newlyweds in Brunei. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)