News / USA

Obama in Indonesia to Improve Muslim Relations, Trade Ties

US President Barack Obama, left, speaks in a news conference accompanied by his Indonesian counterpart Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at the Merdeka palace in Jakarta, Indonesia, 09 Nov. 2010.
US President Barack Obama, left, speaks in a news conference accompanied by his Indonesian counterpart Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at the Merdeka palace in Jakarta, Indonesia, 09 Nov. 2010.

Multimedia

Audio
  • Kate Woodsome's Q&A with Dan Robinson in Indonesia on Obama visit

President Barack Obama is in Indonesia for a less than one-day stay that includes talks with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, and a planned address to the Indonesian people on Wednesday.   

His visit is a sweet return for the president who spent several years of his boyhood living in Indonesia.

It began amid the sound of trumpets and a military gun salute as U.S. President Barack Obama stepped out of the presidential limousine at the presidential palace, the Istana Merdeka, and received a warm welcome from President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.  Mr. Obama shook hands with Cabinet ministers and other officials before beginning bilateral talks with President Yudhoyono.

In a joint news conference, Mr. Obama said he is glad to be back in Indonesia.  He said he is focused not on the past, but on a future of building a comprehensive relationship with the world's largest Muslim majority nation.

"As one of the world's largest democracies, as the largest economy in Southeast Asia, and as a member of the G20, as a regional leader, as a vast archipelago on the front lines of climate change, and as a society of extraordinary diversity, Indonesia is where many of the challenges and of the opportunities of the 21st century come together," said the president.  

As he did on his previous stop in India, Mr. Obama said the United States is looking to strengthen alliances, deepen relationships with Asia, and re-engage with regional organizations such as ASEAN 9 (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) which Indonesia will chair next year.

Issues in talks with President Yudhoyono include regional and global economic matters, counter-terrorism, security cooperation, and anti-piracy efforts.  Later, a joint news conference with President Yudhoyono, the two leaders announced an agreement to boost cooperation in trade, education, clean energy and security.

Asked about the status of his outreach effort to the Muslim world, the president said it is still a work in progress.

"Our efforts have been earnest, sustained.  We do not expect that we are going to completely eliminate some of the misunderstandings and mistrust that have developed over a long period of time, but we do think we are on the right path," said Mr. Obama.

Some groups staged demonstrations in Jakarta to protest President Obama's visit or urge him to take up their cause, including one Muslim fundamentalist organization protesting what it called continuing U.S. military involvement in the Muslim world.

This is a long-awaited trip for Mr. Obama, who was forced to postpone a visit twice earlier in the year due to domestic political and other issues.  He said it is his hope to return to Indonesia for a longer stay.

Wednesday he is scheduled to visit the Istiqlal Mosque, the largest in Southeast Asia, and make a speech to the Indonesian people at the University of Indonesia.    

White House aides say President Obama's schedule is likely to be shortened because ash from Mt. Merapi in central Java threatens further disruptions to air travel.

If that turns out to be the case, the president will depart earlier for Seoul South Korea, for the G20 summit, followed by Yokohama, Japan for the APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) summit.

Related report by VOA's Brian Padden

You May Like

Hezbollah Chief Says Does Not Want War But Ready for One

VOA's Jerusalem correspondent reports that with an Israeli election looming and Hezbollah's involvement in Syria, neither side appears interested in a wider conflict More

Multimedia VOA SPECIAL REPORT: Despite Danger, Best US Minds Battle Deadly Virus

Scientists at America's premier biological research center race to find effective drugs, speedier tests and a safe vaccine amid the deadliest outbreak of Ebola in history More

Kurdish Poet Battles to Defend Language, Culture

Kawa Nemir's work is an example of what he sees as an irreversible cultural and political assertiveness among Kurds in Turkey More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unresti
X
Heather Murdock
January 30, 2015 8:00 PM
Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Mobile Infrared Scanners May Help Homeowners Save Energy

Mobile photo scanners have been successfully employed for navigational purposes, such as Google Maps. Now, a group of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says the same technology could help homeowners better insulate their houses and save some money. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid