President Obama called for a fresh beginning with the Muslim world in a speech in Jakarta today. Obama, revisiting the nation where he lived for four years as a boy, praised Indonesia for fighting terrorism and called for both the US and the Islamic world to overcome "suspicion and mistrust" to combat extremists. "Let me begin with a simple statement: Indonesia is part of me" he said in the Indonesian language at the start of his 30-minute speech to a mostly young audience at the University of Indonesia.
Returning to the country for the first time since 1992, Obama beamed with pride, the AP notes, as he delivered what perhaps was the most deeply personal speech of his presidency, including many phrases and words in Indonesian. He continued, "I have made it clear that America is not and never will be at war with Islam. Those who want to build must not cede ground to terrorists who seek to destroy." After the speech, he flew to South Korea to take part in the G20 summit, leaving slightly ahead of schedule because of fears volcanic ash being spewed out by Mount Merapi might disrupt air travel.