Hillary Clinton lands in Indonesia with message for Muslims
The newly-appointed U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Jakarta on Wednesday, starting her two-day visit in the country as part of her first Asia visit to rebuild ties with the Muslim world on her first trip abroad as US secretary of state. But even beofore she landed in Jakarta she was snubbed by an Indonesian Islamic leader as he rejected an invitation to dine with Hillary Clinton
Her visit was under tight security in the nation which has been hit by series of terrorist strikes since 2000 that killed hundreds of people.
Clinton is scheduled to meet with Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda at his office and followed by a meeting at the ASEAN Secretary. On Thursday she will meet with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived Wednesday in Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim-majority country, on a mission to start mending US ties with the Islamic world.
She is to meet Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda and leaders of the Jakarta-based Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) later in the day on the second leg of her four-nation swing through Asia.
Clinton touched down under heavy cloud and was greeted by senior officials and a choir of female students from US President Barack Obama's old primary school in Jakarta.
Obama spent part of his early childhood here and has promised to improve relations with the Islamic world after the US-led invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan under George W. Bush.
"We have a responsibility to speak out and to work with the Muslim world on behalf of positive change and to enlist the help of Muslims around the world against the extremists," Clinton told students in Japan on Tuesday.
"And it is very difficult in many parts of the world today to do that," said the chief US diplomat, who acknowledged that the war in Iraq was a stumbling block to better US ties with the Muslim world.
In her first overseas trip in her new role, she said she wanted to follow in Obama's footsteps and "speak directly to Muslims".