A. Muh. Ibnu Aqil, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and First Lady Iriana Widodo departed on Tuesday for the United States capital to attend several meetings over the next three days until Friday, not the least of which is the ASEAN-US Special Summit.
"This morning, the delegates and I are heading off for work trips to Washington, D.C. between May 11 and 13," the President said at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport moments before boarding.
Top officials in the presidential entourage include Coordinating Maritime and Investment Affairs Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, State Secretary Pratikno, Trade Minister Muhammad Lutfi, and Investment Minister Bahlil Lahadalia.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi is currently in the US preparing for the President's visit.
Jokowi is among the regional leaders attending the two-day ASEAN-US Special Summit, which takes place on Thursday and Friday after being delayed from its original schedule on March 28-29 on the suggestion of ASEAN chair Cambodia.
Aside from the summit, the President's schedule includes meetings with US Vice President Kamala Haris, the US National Climate Task Force, several members of Congress and CEOs of major US companies.
Jokowi expressed his hope that, since Indonesia was the 2021-2024 coordinator for the ASEAN-US partnership, the special summit would produce collaborative efforts that contribute to peace, stability and prosperity in Southeast Asia.
The President also reiterated that ASEAN was ready to synergize with all partner countries, including the US, in line with the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific to develop concrete, inclusive and mutually beneficial cooperation.
"We have a responsibility to create an Indo-Pacific region that is a peaceful, stable and prosperous," he added.