‘Selamat Pagi,’ Says Obama at SBY Climate, Education Talks


US President Barack Obama and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono have agreed in talks in Toronto to initiate programmes to fight climate change and boost education.

The programs will be part of a “comprehensive partnership” to be launched when Obama finally visits Indonesia, a trip to a childhood home he has put off twice due to domestic concerns.

Obama did not reveal a new date but assured Yudhoyono he would make the trip to Jakarta, where he spent four years growing up as a kid between the ages of six and 10.

“I am confident that we are going to get there,” Obama said on Sunday, offering the traditional Indonesian greeting “selamat pagi” (good morning) as the leaders had breakfast together on the final day of the G20 summit in the Canadian city of Toronto.

Obama said the United States would help set up a climate change study centre in Indonesia and was considering a US$160-million offer for joint youth programmes focused on education.

Yudhoyono, popularly known by his initials SBY, said the two countries were developing a comprehensive partnership “promoting peace, reforming the world economy, addressing climate change, as well as promoting harmony among civilisations.

“A stable, dynamic, and strong relations between Indonesia and the US is good for our region and for our world,” said Yudhoyono, adding that the partnership was intended “to meet the challenges of the 21st century.”

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa will co-chair a joint commission later this year to supervise the progress of partnership programmes.

Obama postponed his original trip to Indonesia in March to ensure the passage of his healthcare reforms, a top legislative priority, through Congress.

The rescheduled visit in mid-June had to be put off again as the president came under fire for his response to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, America’s worst ever environmental disaster.

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