News World Violent protests force Widodo to postpone visit to Australia

Violent protests force Widodo to postpone visit to Australia

Widodo cancels visit
Widodo was due in Australia tomorrow. Photo: AAP
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Indonesian President Joko Widodo has postponed his visit to Australia after yesterday’s protests in Jakarta turned violent.

Mr Widodo was due to land in Australia tomorrow for a three-day visit taking in Sydney and Canberra, where he was scheduled to address a joint sitting of the Federal Parliament.

But a statement from the Foreign Ministry said the current development had required the President to stay in Indonesia.

Widodo cancels visit
Security concerns force president to postpone three-day visit to Australia. Photo: AAP

The President personally telephoned Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to inform him of the postponement.

Mr Widodo has tasked his Foreign Minister to discuss new dates for a visit in the near future, the statement said.

Mr Turnbull confirmed Mr Widodo called to inform him that the planned visit would have to be rescheduled due to the security situation in Jakarta.

“I said we were sorry we would not be able to welcome him to Australia tomorrow but entirely understood the need for him to remain in Indonesia at this time,” Mr Turnbull said in a statement.

He said both leaders expressed disappointment the visit would not go ahead.

“While disappointing, we agreed the postponement will not affect the need for continued and enhanced cooperation across a range of shared interests and challenges, including the threat of terrorism to our region.”

Jakarta police said yesterday they would secure 26 sites across the capital, with 18,000 police and military personnel to be deployed onto the streets.

The protesters are demanding Jakarta’s Christian Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, known as Ahok, be jailed for comments he made about the Koran.


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