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Indonesia Says It's Ready for Asia-Africa Summit Anniversary

FILE - Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, shown speaking to reporters in August 2014, says preparations are under way to make the capital presentable for the Asia-Africa summit.

Indonesia said Thursday that it was ready to host the celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the Asia-Africa summit, which will bring delegations from dozens of countries to Jakarta this month.

Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, widely known as Ahok, told reporters that preparations were under way to make the capital presentable.

"We have completely cleaned the underpasses on toll roads, illegal buildings have been demolished and the occupants are being moved to public housing," he said.

He added that during the event, Jakarta's monorail construction project, which is considered an eyesore by many, would be covered with banners.

Most of the meetings will be held in Jakarta starting April 19, but the high point of the event will be in Bandung, where the first summit was held at the Asia-Africa Building in 1955.

The mayor of Bandung, Ridwan Kamil, told reporters that a huge cultural team was ready to welcome international dignitaries with special souvenirs.

“So there would be eight different souvenirs — [including] scarves, kujang [a traditional weapon], small angklung [a traditional music instrument], wooden puppets [and] gemstones," the mayor said.

Indonesia has invited 109 nations to send delegations, along with observers from 17 other countries.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Indonesian service.