Clinton in Jakarta, Eye on Muslim World

Students from Obama's school welcome secretary of state
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 18, 2009 5:47 AM CST
Clinton in Jakarta, Eye on Muslim World
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton talks with Indonesian junior school students upon her arrival at Halim Perdanakusuma airport in Jakarta, Indonesia, Wednesday, Feb 18, 2009.   (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana, Pool)

Hillary Clinton arrived today in Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim nation, where the secretary of state is continuing the Obama administration's efforts to rehabilitate America's image abroad. In Jakarta, Clinton intends to announce plans to step up US engagement with Southeast Asia, stressing the growing importance of a region that often felt slighted by the Bush administration.

Her two-day schedule includes a visit to the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) secretariat, the first by a secretary of state. Indonesia, once the home of President Barack Obama, is the second stop in her inaugural overseas trip. Among those who turned out at the airport to welcome Clinton were 44 children from his former elementary school, singing traditional folk songs and waving Indonesian and American flags. (More Obama administration stories.)

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