News detail for Time to Visit Indonesia
"As I travel around the world over the next years, I will be saying to people: if you want to know whether Islam, democracy, modernity and women's rights can co-exist, go to Indonesia," said Hillary Chinton, the secretary of states.
JAKARTA (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held up Indonesia on Wednesday as proof that modernity and Islam can coexist as she visited the country where U.S. President Barack Obama spent four years as a boy.
Clinton's 24-hour stay in the world's most populous Muslim nation underlined Obama's desire to forge a better relationship with the Islamic world, where his predecessor George W. Bush's policies were deeply unpopular, notably the invasion of Iraq.
Clinton, on her first trip as secretary of state, said she wanted to deepen cooperation between the two countries on counterterrorism, climate change and security.
"As I travel around the world over the next years, I will be saying to people: if you want to know whether Islam, democracy, modernity and women's rights can co-exist, go to Indonesia," she said at a dinner with civil society activists.
Clinton basked in Obama's popularity in Indonesia at every stop during her day, which included talks with the Indonesian foreign minister and a visit to the Jakarta headquarters of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Obama spent four years in Indonesia after his American mother, Ann Dunham, married Indonesian Lolo Soetoro following the end of her marriage to Obama's Kenyan father.
Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda said Indonesia shared the United States' "joy" at Obama's election and he wanted Clinton to go back and tell the U.S. president "we cannot wait too long" for a visit.
Playing on Obama's Indonesian ties, about 50 schoolchildren from the U.S. president's old school waved U.S. and Indonesian flags and sang folk songs to Clinton on the tarmac after she landed at an airport in the suburbs of Jakarta.
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