Friday, November 18, 2011

Bali, Indonesia: President Obama Attends The East Asia Summit Dinner

"Tonight our business is everything but official"...
In Bali, Indonesia for the East Asia Summit, President Obama joined his counterparts on Thursday evening for a formal dinner, held at the convention center and hosted by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. The 8:30 PM dinner in the ballroom had the leaders and their spouses seated in a straight line at a long head table in front, facing a stage, where dancers in elaborate traditional Balinese costumes performed. (Above: The President watches the performance with Yudhoyono)

Mr. Obama is the first US president to attend the East Asia Summit. The dinner came after the "family photo" of the attending leaders, and all wore traditional shirts, both for the photo and for the dinner.

Just a week ago at the APEC summit in Hawaii, Mr. Obama nixed the idea of the gathered leaders donning such gear for the family photo. As host, he mandated "no coconut bras," and no grass skirts, either. In Bali, the President wore a green shirt with orange accents in an ikat print, while the other leaders wore yellow, gold, maroon, black and red shirts for the family photo and then to the dinner. He was in the front row for two family photos--one with spouses, and one without. First Lady Michelle Obama is not in Bali. (Above: The President with the leaders and spouses during the photo op)

Yudhoyono spoke in English as he welcomed his guests to the dinner. The resort island of Bali has "an amazing way to cure jetlag and rejuvenate strength," he said.

Tonight, he said, the main duty was to enjoy he festivities; "tomorrow our works begins," with an agenda that includes energy, climate change, the world economy, maritime cooperation, and trade.

"You may leave all that for tomorrow," Yudhoyono said. "Tonight our business is everything but official."

Earlier today, after a bilateral meeting with Yudhoyono, President Obama said he was pleased to be at the summit.

"This is another example of how the United States is refocusing on the Asia Pacific, and engaging more deeply in regional organizations, so we can meet our common challenges together."

President Obama arrived in Bali on Thursday, the final stop on a nine-day tour of the Asia Pacific region. He returns to Washington, DC, on Saturday.

*Photos by AP/pool

No comments:

Post a Comment