Kerry to attend Indonesia president's inauguration

Kerry to attend Indonesia president's inauguration
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

WASHINGTON - US Secretary of State John Kerry will attend next week's swearing-in for Indonesia's president-elect Joko Widodo, and will travel on from there to Germany, the State Department announced Thursday.

His spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, said Kerry will depart Saturday for Widodo's inauguration, which takes place on Monday.

While in Jakarta, "the secretary will also hold several bilateral meetings with foreign counterparts," Psaki said in her statement.

Kerry will lead a delegation of several US officials, including US Ambassador to Indonesia Robert Blake and Daniel Russel, the top State Department official tasked with oversight of Asian affairs.

From Indonesia, Kerry will travel to Germany to attend observances marking the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

In Berlin, he will meet with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier to discuss "regional and international issues," Psaki said.

The globe-trotting top US diplomat just returned to Washington on Thursday from travel to Cairo, Paris and Vienna. He last visited Indonesia in February.

Widodo, a former furniture exporter who was elected in July, enjoyed a meteoric rise through local politics that served as a springboard to Indonesia's presidency.

He is the country's first leader from outside a small circle of ex-military figures and oligarchs who have ruled Indonesia since the 1998 downfall of the country's dictator Suharto.

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