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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Obama praised Indonesia

Politics News Updates! The US President, Barack Obama, has praised Indonesia's transition from dictatorship to democracy and identified it as a ''critical leader'' in the region and on the world stage as he made a historic return to his boyhood home.

Mr Obama conceded it was ''disorientating'' to be back after 40 years, with Jakarta barely recognisable from the city he lived in as a young boy.

After arriving late yesterday from New Delhi, Mr Obama and his wife, Michelle, travelled straight to the presidential palace for a series of meetings. He signed a ''comprehensive partnership'' that both nations said would expand their relationship beyond the traditional preoccupation of security.
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Rain and heavy security kept wellwishers to a minimum as his motorcade sped to the palace.

For Mr Obama, who has identified himself as the ''Pacific president'', Indonesia is a key ally. He thanked it for sponsoring the US membership of the East Asia Summit, a group of Asian nations that includes Australia. Mr Obama said it will be the chief multilateral institution to manage security and political issues in the region.

''Indonesia will be a critical partner, a critical leader in that,'' Mr Obama said.

Mr Obama and the Indonesian President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, spoke at length about the summit's potential, in particular its role in solving the territorial dispute in the South China Sea, arising from China's claim to much of the resource-rich area.

The comprehensive partnership covers economic, security, political and environmental realms. It aims to double educational exchanges between the two countries and will also include enhanced dialogue between non-government groups on the contentious topics of corruption and human rights.

Indonesia, said Mr Obama, was on the front line of climate change and, as an archipelagic nation, was likely to feel its effects soon.


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