US embassy cable - 95BANDARSERIBEGAWAN430

FOREIGN MINISTER'S VISIT TO IRAN

Identifier: 95BANDARSERIBEGAWAN430
Wikileaks: View 95BANDARSERIBEGAWAN430 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Bandar Seri Begawan
Created: 1995-04-18 07:20:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREL BX IR PARM
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
R 180720Z APR 95
FM AMEMBASSY BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 4374
INFO USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI
ASEAN COLLECTIVE
C O N F I D E N T I A L BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN 000430 
 
 
DEPT. FOR EAP/PIMBS 
SINGAPORE FOR ARMA 
CINCPAC FOR FPA - AMB. SALMON 
 
E.O. 12356: DECL: OADR 
TAGS: PREL, BX, IR, PARM 
SUBJECT:  FOREIGN MINISTER'S VISIT TO IRAN 
 
1.  (U)  BRUNEI'S FOREIGN MINISTER, PRINCE 
MOHAMED BOLKIAH, VISITED IRAN APRIL 10-12.  THE 
APRIL 18 EDITION OF THE BORNEO BULLETIN, 
DRAWING FROM A JOINT STATEMENT ISSUED AT THE 
CONCLUSION OF THE VISIT, REPORTED THAT THE TWO 
COUNTRIES HAD "FORTIFIED THEIR EXCELLENT 
BILATERAL RELATIONS." 
 
2.  (U)  THE PRESS REPORT CITED THREE 
ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF THE VISIT:  (A) AN AGREEME 
TO EXEMPT HOLDERS OF DIPLOMATIC AND OFFICIAL 
PASSPORTS FROM VISA FOR SHORT OFFICIAL AND/OR 
TRANSIT VISITS; (B) AGREEMENT IN PRINCIPLE TO 
EXCHANGE LAND ON A RECIPROCAL BASIS FOR 
CONSTRUCTION OF EMBASSIES IN EACH OTHER'S 
CAPITAL; AND (C)  AN OFFER BY IRAN OF 
SHORT-TERM DIPLOMATIC TRAINING FOR BRUNEIAN 
DIPLOMATS.  A JOINT COMMISSION WILL BE 
ESTABLISHED AT THE FOREIGN MINISTERS' LEVEL TO 
PERIODICALLY REVIEW PROGRESS IN AREAS OF MUTUAL 
INTEREST, WITH THE FIRST MEETING TO BE HELD 
EARLY NEXT YEAR IN BRUNEI. 
 
3.  (C)  PRINCE MOHAMED REVIEWED HIS TRIP WITH 
ME APRIL 18.  HE SAID HE HAD A GOOD VISIT, WITH 
MOSTLY BILATERAL MATTERS DISCUSSED.  HE FOUND 
THE COUNTRY BEAUTIFUL, AND REMARKED ON THE 
ABSENCE OF TOURISTS, WHICH HE THOUGHT COULD BE 
A REVENUE-RAISER.  HE REMARKED THAT THERE IS A 
LOT OF POTENTIAL FOR ECONOMIC COOPERATION 
BETWEEN BRUNEI AND IRAN, BUT DID NOT 
ELABORATE. 
 
4.  (C)  TO MY QUESTION, HE CORRECTED AN 
INITIAL PRESS REPORT WHICH HAD ALLEGED THAT 
BRUNEIAN STUDENTS WOULD BE ATTENDING IRANIAN 
UNIVERSITIES.  THE FOREIGN MINISTER SAID THAT 
IRAN HAD ONLY OFFERED SHORT-TERM COURSES FOR 
BRUNEIAN DIPLOMATS.   HE SAID THAT OTHER 
COUNTRIES HAVE MADE SIMILAR OFFERS, AND BRUNEI 
WELCOMES SUCH TRAINING.  NO DECISION HAS BEEN 
MADE CONCERNING ACCEPTING IRAN'S OFFER, BUT THE 
MINISTER SAID HE SEES NO PROBLEMS WITH IT. 
 
4.  (C)  PRINCE MOHAMED SAID THAT IRAN'S 
FOREIGN MINISTER HAD RAISED THE QUESTION OF 
EXTENSION OF THE NPT DURING THEIR MEETING. 
MINISTER VELYATI HAD TOLD HIM THAT HE IS 
CONFIDENT THAT THE NPT WILL BE EXTENDED.  I 
ASKED WHETHER IRAN HAD INDICATED WHETHER IT 
WOULD SUPPORT INDEFINITE EXTENSION.  THE 
MINISTER REPLIED THAT VELYATI HAD SAID THAT 
IRAN WILL LISTEN CAREFULLY TO THE DEBATE TO SEE 
HOW IT PROCEEDS BEFORE MAKING A DECISION. 
 
5.  (C)  COMMENT:  BRUNEI AND IRAN CONTINUE TO 
APPEAR TO THIS EMBASSY AS STRANGE BEDFELLOWS, 
GIVEN IRAN'S ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALIST 
REVOLUTIONARY GOVERNMENT, BUT THE RELATIONSHIP 
CONTINUES TO DEVELOP.  THE SULTAN AND PRESIDENT 
RAFSANJANI HAVE EXCHANGED STATE VISITS, AND 
FOREIGN MINISTER VALYATI WILL VISIT BRUNEI NEXT 
YEAR TO HEAD THE IRANIAN TEAM FOR THE FIRST 
JOINT COMMISSION MEETING.  WE KNOW THAT BRUNEI 
KEEPS A CAREFUL EYE ON THE IRANIAN EMBASSY'S 
ACTIVITIES, WHICH SUGGESTS THAT OFFICIAL VISITS 
NOTWITHSTANDING, BRUNEI REMAINS WARY OF IRAN'S 
ULTIMATE INTENTIONS.  CONSISTENT WITH BRUNEI'S 
FOREIGN POLICY APPROACH OF "FRIEND OF ALL, 
ENEMY OF NONE", HOWEVER, WE BELIEVE THAT THE 
RELATIONSHIP WILL CONTINUE GRADUALLY, AND 
CAREFULLY, TO EXPAND.  END COMMENT 
 
 
TULL 

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