France keen to develop closer security ties with Brunei

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BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

FRANCE is keen to develop closer security ties with Brunei to combat a rapidly-evolving global terror threat, said a visiting French senator yesterday.

Joelle Garriaud-Maylam, the senate representative for French citizens abroad, said that despite being a stable and secure country, it was important for Brunei to remain vigilant against potential threats.

“You are never immune to terrorism. We have had major problems in France with terrorist attacks in the past two years but we have also avoided a lot of them, but of course you can’t avoid all,” she told local media in an interview.

Garriaud-Maylam — who is secretary of the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defense and Armed Forces — said Brunei could benefit from French expertise in counter terrorism, particularly through defence and intelligence training.

“Defence and security cooperation is very important. We work extremely closely with the Singapore Navy and air defence. We have many good relationships there and I would love to see relationships develop with Brunei in the same way.”

Brunei and France have a long-standing memorandum of understanding (MoU) on defence cooperation, which was inked in 1999.

Senator Garriaud-Maylam was in Brunei on a four-day visit to explore ways to boost bilateral cooperation.

The Brunei Times