Barack Obama will participate in talks by the 18-nation East Asia Summit in Bali later this year, the State Department confirmed today.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was traveling to Indonesia later this month partly to prepare for “President Obama’s participation for the first time in the EAS in November,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.
A local official in Bali said in May that the Indonesian resort island was preparing to welcome Obama on November 19.
Bali provincial government spokesman Ketut Teneng said US Ambassador Scot Marciel had informed the regional authorities of Obama’s intention to attend the regional strategic dialogue, which also includes China and Russia.
It will be Obama’s second official visit to Indonesia, a mainly Muslim archipelago in Southeast Asia where he spent part of his childhood in the late 1960s. He made his first official visit as US president last November.
Indonesia is hosting the regional dialogue in its capacity as chair of ASEAN, the 10-nation grouping which forms the core of the broader EAS.
The United States and Russia were admitted to the 18-nation EAS last year, but Obama did not attend the leaders’ meeting in Hanoi in October, sending Clinton in his place.
Chinese President Hu Jintao is also expected to attend the summit, which closely follows meetings of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the Group of 20 rich and developing countries.