Many world leaders were apparently hesitant to contact president-elect Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, perhaps preferring to wait until the loser of the election, Prabowo Subianto, files his lawsuit with the Constitutional Court. Many big countries such as China, India and South Korea have not yet congratulated Jokowi.
Even several fellow ASEAN leaders, such as the Philippines, have not contacted the Jakarta governor.
US President Barack Obama, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott were among the first foreign leaders to call or send congratulatory messages.
“This morning [Wednesday], the Singaporean PM and Australian PM called me. At 11 a.m. today, Mr. Obama called and congratulated me,” Jokowi said at City Hall in Jakarta on Wednesday.
Jokowi explained that Obama, who spent a few years of his childhood in Jakarta, spoke Indonesian in their telephone conversation. Obama promised to speak with Jokowi on the sidelines of the
APEC summit in China in November.
While Obama spoke directly with Jokowi, US Secretary of State John Kerry praised the Indonesian people for uniting once again to show their commitment to democracy through free and fair elections.
“The US looks forward to working with president-elect Widodo as we deepen our partnership, promote our shared objectives globally, and expand people-to-people ties between our nations,” Kerry said in a statement made available to The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.
Kerry said that, as the world’s second- and third-largest democracies, the US and Indonesia set an example for the world. “We share many common values, including respect for human rights and the rule of law. Our two nations have worked hard to build the US-Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership, which has strengthened our bilateral relationship so we can jointly address common regional and global challenges,” Kerry added.
Meanwhile, the Australian prime minister hailed Indonesia’s election as a significant milestone for the world’s third-largest democracy, as he praised President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono for his “vast contributions”.
“Indonesia is to be congratulated on its remarkable transition to democracy and on the conduct of the election,” Abbott said as quoted by Agence France-Presse.
Abbott said Australia’s relationship with its neighbor, with whom ties were strained last year due to spying allegations, was “extraordinarily important to us”.
“The Australian government is looking forward to working closely with [Jokowi],” Abbott stated.
Abbott underlined that the relationship was highly productive, and hoped to work closely to further strengthen bilateral ties.
“We share a long history of cooperation on a wide range of common interests and challenges,” he said.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe invited Jokowi to visit Japan. As quoted by the Indonesian Embassy in Tokyo, the prime minister told Jokowi in their 10-minute telephone conversation that “Indonesia and Japan are strategic partners, therefore the role of the two countries with regard to security, peace, stability and prosperity in the region amid the current changing situation has become more important.”
Shortly after the announcement of the final election result by the General Elections Commission (KPU) on Tuesday night, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib congratulated Jokowi via his Twitter account.
Singaporean Prime Minister Lee also used social media to congratulate Jokowi.
UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond warmly congratulated Jokowi and Indonesians for another successful exercise in democracy.
“Indonesia is important to the UK: it is the world’s third-largest democracy and a close G20 [Group of 20] partner. We share many values as democratic, diverse, island trading nations that are strongly reflected in our growing relationship. We work together to promote trade, security, combat climate change, and in many other areas, and that will continue,” said the newly promoted minister.
European Commission President José Manuel Durão Barroso said the active participation of Indonesian civil society and professional management by the election authorities in Indonesia had illustrated the strength and dynamism of the country’s democracy.
“We are looking forward to working with you to further strengthen our cooperation in the years to come. Please accept the assurances of my highest consideration,” he added.
Shortly after being sworn in as the country’s seventh president in October, Jokowi will embark on foreign visits for meetings with regional and world leaders.
Jokowi will have a busy schedule with a series of ASEAN meetings, the ASEAN Summit, followed by the East Asia Summit in Naypyidaw, Myanmar in November 2014.
The East Asia Summit is an annual meeting of national leaders from the East Asian region and adjoining countries.
The two other summits are the G20 Summit, scheduled to be held in Brisbane, Australia in November and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic Leaders’ Meeting (APEC) in the same month in
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