Headlines

Obama says he is coming
to Indonesia

Barack Obama
Barack Obama

US President Barack Obama announced on Thursday that he will be traveling to Indonesia "soon", making good on a promise he has made and reneged twice this year.

The announcement took the Indonesian delegation to the United Nations General Assembly by surprise, not so much by the content as by the timing and that Obama had decided to make the announcement himself rather than his staff at the White House.

"Obama in his speech at the opening of the General Assembly said he plans to visit Indonesia shortly," Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa told Indonesian journalists who are in town for Friday's summit between Obama and leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The trip to Indonesia will be part of an Asian tour he had planned on making is November that originally had included only India, Korea and Japan.

As he talked about the rise of the democracies around he world that were unique for each nation, Obama said:  

"Later this fall, I will travel to Asia. And I will visit India, which peacefully threw off colonialism and established a thriving democracy of over a billion people.

"I'll continue to Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim-majority country, which binds together thousands of islands through the glue of representative government and civil society.

"I'll join the G20 meeting on the Korean Peninsula, which provides the world's clearest contrast between a society that is dynamic and open and free, and one that is imprisoned and closed.

"And I will conclude my trip in Japan, an ancient culture that found peace and extraordinary development through democracy.

"Each of these countries gives life to democratic principles in their own way."

Vice President Boediono will have a chance of finding out more about the Indonesian trip when he meets with Obama at the summit on Friday, and whether he will be coming with his daughters, as he had promised on the two canceled visits.

Obama, who spent four years of his childhood ion Indonesia, canceled the first time in March because of an important vote over his healthcare bill and another time in June when the major oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico would have made him very unpopular to leave the country.

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