Kerry to attend Indonesian inauguration

AP News
Posted: Oct 16, 2014 5:16 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Indonesia for the inauguration Monday of the Southeast Asian nation's new president.

A former furniture exporter who achieved political prominence as governor Jakarta, Joko Widodo (JOH-koh WEE-doh-doh), won presidential elections in July. He defeated a former general with links to the regime of ex-dictator Suharto.

Widodo replaces President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (soo-SEE-loh BAHM-BAHNG YOO-doh-YOH-noh), who has served since 2004.

Kerry will head a delegation of senior U.S. officials, including the assistant secretary for East Asia, Daniel Russel.

The Obama administration has cultivated a stronger U.S. relationship with Indonesia as part of its effort to "rebalance" American foreign policy toward Asia. President Barack Obama lived in Indonesia as a child, and has visited the country twice as president.