During his visit to the UK, the Sultan held meetings with British Prime Minister David Cameron and took the opportunity to renew a long-standing defence agreement. British troops remained in Brunei after the country`s independence from Britain in 1984, and the agreement that allows it has been regularly renewed every five years. The British government described the agreement as an agreement providing for a “permanent presence” of British troops in Asia. Therefore, the probability of a British withdrawal is low in the near future. […] At Jungle Warfare School, they will likely connect with the armed forces of the British Brunei garrison. Under long-standing defence agreements, the British Army is keeping a battalion of Gurkha light infantry in position […] Britain and Brunei have signed a defence agreement that will ensure British troops remain in the Southeast Asian state. This afternoon, His Majesty`s Prime Minister welcomed the Sultan of Brunei to Downing Street to renew a long-standing defence agreement and hold bilateral talks. The Heads of State and Government agreed on the importance of the close security relationship between the two countries, embodied by the 750 British employees based in Brunei, in accordance with the terms of the garrison agreement. The Prime Minister reaffirmed the UK`s commitment to a safe and prosperous Southeast Asia. We continue to believe that military relations with the United Kingdom will be an important element in the long-term planning of the sultanate`s defence. Relations between the United Kingdom and Brunei are still strong, even after the latter`s independence from Great Britain on 1 January 1984. On the same day, signalling the good future relationship with the UK, Brunei became the 49th member of the Commonwealth. Since independence, British forces have been deployed there at the request of the current sultan, in an agreement renewed every five years.
On February 16, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei signed a defence cooperation agreement with the United Kingdom, which allows British forces to remain in the country for another five years. Since 1984, when the small state became both independent and a member of the Commonwealth, an agreement has been signed every five years between Britain and Brunei to keep British military personnel in the country. Brunei has about 2,000 British soldiers, including a Gurkha battalion and a small number of soldiers on loan to the Brunei Armed Forces. From the British perspective, training in Brunei allows for extreme environmental training, given the extent of the sultanate`s rainforest cover. From Brunei`s perspective, the sultanate`s small population and military weakness compared to the large neighboring armed forces, including those of China and Indonesia, place a high level on military relations with Britain and the training that such defense cooperation can offer. . . .