BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (Agencies): Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid on Sunday, called for a common petroleum strategy among Southeast Asia's predominantly Muslim nations.
Abdurrahman, stressing he had fully recovered from the flu which had castdoubts over his Brunei visit, said a joint strategy among petroleum-rich countries Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia would go a long way in the costly area of exploiting resources and technology.
""Maybe, we could work out a common strategy globally and internally amongthe three Islamic countries of Brunei, Malaysia and Indonesia,"" Abdurrahmantold a news conference at Brunei's capital Bandar Seri Begawan before returning home after a one-day working visit.
The Indonesian President said he raised his suggestion for the joint petroleum initiative during talks with Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.
The sultan's response was not immediately known.
Abdurrahman said Brunei Shell -- a local joint venture with Anglo-Dutch oil giant Royal Dutch/Shell -- and the state-run Brunei Petroleum Unit as well as the national petroleum corporations of Malaysia and Indonesia, Petronas and Pertamina, ""could get together and work something out"" in terms of a joint strategy.
The tiny Brunei sultanate lies on the huge Borneo island, which is also shared by Malaysia and Indonesia.
Abdurrahman, who arrived early Sunday for a visit to enhance bilateral ties, also raised the possibility of Indonesia enrolling students at the University of Brunei's petroleum faculty.
He said Indonesian students need not go to the West to be trained in petroleum technology when such expertise was available in nearby Brunei, which also had the backing of oil experts from, among other countries, Britain and the Netherlands.
The tired-looking Indonesian leader, 59, was greeted on arrival at the Brunei international airport by Foreign Minister Prince Mohamed Bolkiah.
During the visit, Foreign Minister Alwi Shihab, who accompanied Abdurrahman, and his Brunei counterpart Mohamad Bolkiah, signed an agreement on the prevention of double taxation between the countries.
It is his first visit to Brunei since becoming Indonesia's first democratically elected leader last year. He had skipped Brunei during his tour of Southeast Asia immediately after assuming office.
The President's doctors on Thursday said Wahid, who cannot walk without assistance following two strokes several years ago, was suffering from influenza and advised rest for a few days, putting his trip in doubt.
But the President insisted on making the trip to the oil-rich state on Sunday and East Timor on Tuesday.
He told reporters in Brunei that he had fully recovered from the flu after he followed doctors' orders to rest for two days.
""This seems to have worked. I'm on the road again,"" said Abdurrahman, whohas travelled extensively since he became President in October.
Apart from neighboring Southeast Asian nations, the Indonesian leader hasmade trips to the Middle East, Europe, the United States, China and India.
Abdurrahman, who also met the Indonesian community in Brunei, arrived back at Jakarta's Halim Perdanakusuma airport on Sunday afternoon.