In his first encounter with US President Barack Obama, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo told the leader of the most powerful country in the world on Monday that Indonesia was a model where Islam and democracy existed hand in hand.
In their meeting on the sideline of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Beijing, China, Jokowi said that Indonesia, having the world largest Muslim population, had illustrated democracy at its best as seen in the peaceful transition of power during the recent legislative and presidential election.
"The elections have shown that Islam and democracy can work hand in hand," said Jokowi, who was accompanied by Coordinating Economic Minister Sofyan Djalil, Foreign Minister Retno L.P Marsudi, Cabinet Secretary Andi Widjajanto and foreign affairs observer Rizal Sukma of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
Jokowi said that Indonesia had ample experience over more than 30 years with resolving issues of religious extremism.
In his welcoming remarks to Jokowi, Obama praised Indonesia for its extraordinary efforts in the campaign for tolerance and pluralism.
"I would like to thank Indonesia for what it has done to isolate extremism and to work with other countries in counterterrorism efforts," said Obama.