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Obama in Jakarta for trade talks and meatballs

Obama in Jakarta for trade talks and meatballs
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US President Barack Obama is in the Indonesian capital Jakarta, the second stop of his 10-day four-nation Asian tour.

It is an important visit for Obama, Indonesia is an increasingly important business hub and the world’s most populous Muslim nation. It is also the place where he spent four years of his childhood.

The US leader explained why he was there: “President Yudhoyono and I discussed ways to create the conditions that would encourage additional trade and investment. He mentioned we are number three right now in terms of trade volume and investment and I informed him that we don’t like being number three, we want to be number one.”

Obama also offered a message to the wider Muslim world as he said: “What we are trying to do is make sure that we are building bridges and expanding our interactions with Muslim countries so that they are not solely focussed on security issues.”

At a state banquet Obama was served meatballs and fried rice, his favourite meal from his time living in Indonesia from 1967 to 1971.

The president’s next stop is South Korea, where he will attend the G20 summit and Yokohama, Japan, for an Asia-Pacific economic meeting.