Indonesian president in Britain for state visit

Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono begins a three-day state visit to Britain on Wednesday, with officials keen to impress the emerging Asian power with a display of pomp and pageantry.

Queen Elizabeth II is scheduled to formally welcome Yudhoyono and his wife Ani on Wednesday afternoon with a guard of honour on Horse Guards Parade, before accompanying them to Buckingham Palace in a horse-drawn carriage.

The Indonesian leader and his wife will stay at the palace, where the 86-year-old monarch is hosting a lavish state banquet in their honour on Wednesday evening.

“As well having one of the world’s most thriving economies, Indonesia is in the vanguard of the political change shaping Asia,” Foreign Secretary William Hague told parliament on Tuesday.

“This visit will be an opportunity for us to build on the strong partnership established over the last decade.”

The president will hold talks with Prime Minister David Cameron on Thursday and attend a meeting of the high-level United Nations panel that is drawing up a strategy on how to build on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Yudhoyono, who is the world’s only head of state to have served as a UN peacekeeper, will also give a speech at the Royal College of Defence Studies.

The 15th-century Guildhall, in London’s financial district, will host a second banquet on Thursday night.

Several trade announcements are expected during the three-day trip, with Britain keen to gain access to Indonesia’s fast-growing economy and 240 million consumers.

The state visit is part of Britain’s drive to boost its diplomatic presence in Southeast Asia, with Indonesia regarded by officials as the most influential player in the region.

As the world’s largest Muslim-majority country, it is also seen as a strategic ally in the Islamic world.

“Indonesia is far and away the most important country in ASEAN,” said a Foreign Office source.

Officials also see Indonesia as a potential future host for foreign campuses of its universities, similar to Malaysia where several British universities including Nottingham, Southampton and Newcastle have outposts.

Britain usually hosts two state visits each year, but Yudhoyono is the only foreign head of state to receive the formal hospitality in 2012 following months of diamond jubilee celebrations marking the queen’s 60th year on the throne.

The last state visit was by Turkish President Abdullah Gul in November last year.

Source: MSN News

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2 Comments

Filed under Democracy, International Relation

2 responses to “Indonesian president in Britain for state visit

  1. gerhardmartin

    Reblogged this on GO OKA WEMOHAWE.

  2. U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to finalize a comprehensive partnership with Indonesia during his two-day stop in the Southeast Asian nation where he spent part of his childhood. Obama, who arrives to Jakarta on Tuesday, is slated to meet with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and attend a state dinner. He will also visit the Istiqlal Mosque and give a public speech. “In that speech, he’ll have a chance to talk about the partnership that we’re building with Indonesia but also to talk about some of the themes of democracy and development and our outreach to Muslim communities around the world, while also speaking of Indonesia’s pluralism and tolerance as well,” Ben Rhodes, the deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, said recently.

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