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Obama in Bali for East Asia Summit

US President Barack Obama disembarks from Air Force One upon arrival Bali, Indonesia November 17, 2011.
US President Barack Obama disembarks from Air Force One upon arrival Bali, Indonesia November 17, 2011.

U.S. President Barack Obama is in Bali, Indonesia where he joins leaders of East Asian nations and Russia for two days of discussions on security, economy and other common issues.

Mr. Obama's arrival in Bali coincides with the announcement of a large order of Boeing jets by Indonesia's domestic airline, Lion Air.  The aircraft maker said Thursday that the sale of 230 Boeing 737 planes, worth close to $22 billion, is the largest commercial order in its history.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is also in Bali to attend the separate East Asia Summit, which starts Friday.

Also Friday Mr. Obama is scheduled to hold bilateral meetings with India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Philippine President Benigno Aquino and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.

During his stay on Indonesia's resort island, Mr. Obama will meet leaders of Asian countries that seek U.S. support in their territorial disputes with China over the South China Sea.

He arrived in Indonesia after a stop in Australia where he signed an accord to deploy up to 2,500 U.S. troops in the country's north to boost regional security.  China has promptly raised objections to the bilateral deal.

The summit is seen as an opportunity for Mr. Obama to expand commercial ties with other countries in fast-growing Asia.   

Mr. Obama told Australia's parliament in Canberra, that developments in the Asia-Pacific region will largely define the century ahead and that the U.S. presence there is his administration's top priority.  

The East Asia Summit will be held after the annual summit of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

This is the first time that the United States and Russia will attend the East Asia Summit as full members.  

Bali is the last stop on Mr. Obama's nine-day Asia-Pacific trip.  He heads back to Washington Saturday.

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