JAKARTA – INDONESIA’S largest Muslim organisation has welcomed President Barack Obama’s visit next month as helping to improve relations between the United States and the Islamic world.
‘Mr Obama’s visit is good for Indonesia because Mr Obama is offering to heal the relations between the US and the Muslim world after the tensions experienced during the George Bush era,’ Nahdlatul Ulama chairman Hasyim Muzadi was quoted as saying by Antara news agency late Saturday.
‘However, what he can do may not be viewed as the best possible. As the president of the US, a democratic country, he plays a major but not encompassing role as there is the legislative body limiting his steps,’ he added.
Mr Obama and his family will visit Indonesia in March, in what will be a nostalgic return to the country where he lived as a boy with his late mother and Indonesian stepfather in the 1960s.
The trip has been greatly anticipated in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country since Mr Obama’s inauguration, which was welcomed in Indonesia as the start of a new era in US diplomacy.
Mr Obama is also scheduled to visit Australia and US troops stationed in Guam during his trip.