Obama Congratulates Yudhoyono on Re-election

WASHINGTON ~ US President Barack Obama has congratulated President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on his re-election last week, and expressed a wish for “an even stronger relationship between our two countries.”

“The people of Indonesia held a free and fair election on July 8, and President Yudhoyono has impressively won re-election,” Obama said in a statement released by the White House on Tuesday.

“I wish to offer my personal congratulations to President Yudhoyono and make clear America’s desire to work with him and the Indonesian people in the years to come, to build an even stronger relationship between our two countries,” said Obama, who spent part of his childhood in Indonesia.

The incumbent president defeated opposition leader Megawati Sukarnoputri in a landslide vote, and Obama praised the conduct of the polls.

“The high voter turnout, spirited campaigns by all contending parties, and high level of interest among Indonesia’s media, civic organizations and voting public are all evidence of the strength and dynamism of Indonesia’s young democracy,” he said.

“Indonesia has been playing a greater role internationally in recent years, and we welcome this role. Indonesia has made important contributions in Asia and the world in such areas as peacekeeping, environmental preservation and protection, the development of multilateral organizations in the Asia Pacific region and the promotion of democracy and civil society.”

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