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HM the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam attends Olympic opening ceremony


HM joins world leaders: (Top) His Majesty (L) poses with Chinese President Hu Jintao before a reception at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing yesterday. (Middle) His Majesty (R) pats US President George W Bush as they chat during the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in the Chinese capital. (Bottom) French President Nicolas Sarkozy (R) and his son Louis (C) meet His Majesty (L) at the VIP lounge at the National Stadium. Pictures: AFP

Saturday, August 9, 2008

HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday attended a welcoming banquet held by Chinese President Hu Jintao for international dignitaries who have come to attend the Beijing Olympics' opening ceremony.

The monarch, accompanied by His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Mateen, departed the country on Thursday evening to join world leaders and royal family members in Beijing to witness what the world media has declared the best Olympics opening ceremony ever.

Approximately 300 guests, including world leaders, international sports officials and media moguls gathered at the Great Hall of People yesterday.

His Majesty was seen entering the venue alongside Malaysia's Yang Di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Nur Zahirah, who were among the guests at the Chinese leader's table, along with US President George W Bush, Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and French President Nicholas Sarkozy. Addressing the banquet, Hu Jintao said in the course of bidding and preparing for the Olympics, the Chinese government and people have received sincere help from governments and people from other countries.

In his speech, translated simultaneously in several languages including English, French, Russian and Arabic for the guests, using headsets, Hu described the Beijing Olympics opening tonight, as an historic moment and a century-old dream shared by the Chinese nation.

Repeating China's promise to deliver a high-standard Games, the Chinese President evoked the Olympic spirit to urge the countries to work for deeper understanding, enhance friendship and "rise above differences". The Aug 8-24 Games with more than 10,000 athletes from all over the world is being held in Asia only for the third time in history. (HHM1)
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