November 9th, 2010
11:02 AM ET

State dinner in Jakarta, Indonesia

Pool report in Jakarta, Indonesia, from AFP's Steve Collinson

Earlier tonight, at the state palace complex, the presidents swapped after dinner speeches and toasts. The President said he was "deeply moved" after he was awarded a gold medal of honor on behalf of his late mother, and said "I promise it won't take so long before I come back."

"I am proud and humbled to accept this award on behalf of my mother."

Obama thanked the president for serving Bakso and Nasi Goreng on the menu and other dishes that were appararently his favorites as a boy.

"The fact you would chose to recognize my mother in this way speaks to the bonds she forged over many years with the people of this magnificent country," he said.

"She believed we all share common aspirations, to live in dignity and security, to get an education, to provide for our familes, to give our children a better future, to leave the world better than we found it."

"She also believed by the way in the importance of educating girls and empowering women. She understood when we provide education to young women ... we are in fact developing the entire country."

"That is what kept my mother coming back to the country for so many years and that is the lesson she passed on to me ....I am deeply moved."

Obama said people hit by the recent tsunami and earthquake were in his thoughts and prayers, and said he never thought when he was a boy 40 years ago that he would be hosted at the palace complex as President of the United States.

He said that the United States and Indonesia had more in common than people realize, including origins in colonial rule, vast size, being countries where power resides with the people. "It s only natural that we should be partners in the world."

The Indonesian President Yodhoyono , in a long speech, translated for the U.S. side on headsets, paid tribute to Obama and his late mother.

"Although this is a state visit this is also a homecoming," he said and lamented that Indonesia was once again being visited by disaster with the "unpredictable eruptions of Mount Merapi."

"Indonesia truly appreciates U.S. assistance with regards to natural disasters, including help from the US Geological Survey team.

"Indonesia has much changed since 40 years ago when your excellency lived in Jakatra. Your excellency must have felt the difference in Jakarta when you arrived this afternoon."

"You didn't see any paddy fields in the middle of the city, or see fields where you might have played soccer and flown kites in the past."

"You didn't see pets like monkeys and infant crocodiles like your excellency might once had in your home in Jakarta."

"One thing that is important is the change in the political system in Indonesia which has been changed from an autocratic system to a democratic system."

"It is my sincere hope that this visit will be a special moment for you and for Madame Michelle Obama. "I hope during your next visit you may consider bringing your beloved daughters Malia and Sasha."

Yudhoyono said the menu of Bakso and Nasi Goreng was based on "intelligence" he received about the president's favored dishes years ago.

Passage on the president's late mother: "A few years ago, there was an American woman who loved Indonesia and conducted research on the issue of the role of women and the empowerment of the economy. The result of her research was transferred into a scientific paper of high quality regarding the role of women and micro credits in the villages."

"That researcher is no longer with but her dedication and compassion continue to live in on in Indonesia. That woman is Stanley Ann Durham."

"The government of Indonesia has decided to honor Madame Stanley for her dedication and I as President of indonesia I have the honor to grant this medal of honor to her son on her behalf and to my close friend Mr Barack Obama ."


Topics: Indonesia • President Obama • The News • The Visuals

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