US President Barack Obama is planning to visit Indonesia this year, the state run news agency reported on Friday quoting Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
Yudhoyono said Obama who went to primary school in the Indonesian capital Jakarta from 1967 to 1971 had informed him of his plan when the pair sat together during a working breakfast at the G20 meeting in London.
“When I told Obama that the people of Indonesia were awaiting Obama’s visit, he said he planned to do so this year,” Yudhoyono told reporters in his plane as he returned from London, the Antara news agency reported.
He said Obama would meet his former elementary school friends in Jakarta, and complimented the US president on how much of the Indonesian language he had remembered over the years.
“He still remembers a lot of Indonesian words such as ‘apa kabar´ for how are you, and ‘capek´ for feeling tired,” Yudhoyono said.
Indonesia is the most populous Muslim majority country in the world and an ally of the United States, despite the country’s strong opposition to the Bush administration’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Obama is hugely popular in Jakarta because of his childhood connection and hopes.