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Jakarta Post

Trump, Jokowi engage in Tic-tac diplomacy

  • Agnes Anya

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, June 28, 2019   /   02:05 pm
Trump, Jokowi engage in Tic-tac diplomacy Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo (right) chats and chews candy next to US President Donald Trump (second right), who is holding the candy box, with (from left) Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. (Courtesy of Presidential Office/-)

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo took a chance to mingle with other world leaders, including United States President Donald Trump, on Friday at the opening of the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan.

As he arrived in Japan’s port city on Friday morning, Jokowi immediately attended a series of engagements – from an official welcoming reception to a leader photo session – at INTEX Osaka.

However, while waiting in the Leaders' Area, Jokowi had a chance to talk with state leaders of the G20 countries “in an intimate atmosphere”, according to a press release by Indonesia’s Presidential Protocol and Press Bureau.

The release said that he used the opportunity to talk casually with Trump, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

“President Trump even gave candy to President Jokowi,” it said.

Indonesian President Joko Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo (third right) talks with the President of the People's Republic of China, Xi Jinping (left) on the first day of the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan on Friday, while managing director and chairwoman of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde (second right), chats with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (right). (Courtesy of Presidential Office /-)

In the first year of his administration, Jokowi's critics doubted he would be able to get along with world leaders due to his broken English. Never publicly responding to the criticism, Jokowi several times made powerful official speeches in English at various occasions, including at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Annual Meetings in Nusa Dua, Bali, last year.

He made comparisons between the current global economic situation and Game of Thrones, an Emmy-winning television series adaptation of a series of novels written by George RR Martin.

Indonesian President Joko Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo (right) talks with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte (left) while Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau chats with another world leader upon their arrival for a G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan on Friday. (Courtesy of Presidential Office /-)

In regard to the ongoing G20, Jokowi and First Lady Iriana arrived at Kansai International Airport, Osaka, on Friday morning and were then welcomed by Japanese Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Toshiko Abe and Indonesian Ambassador to Japan Arifin Tasrif.

The President, who prior to leaving Japan gave a speech marking his official reelection victory in Jakarta, attended the G20 Summit along with a delegation consisting of Maritime Affairs Coordinating Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto, Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita and Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) head Thomas Lembong. (evi)