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The Latest: Widodo would welcome Trump visit to Indonesia

Posted at 7:18 AM, Jul 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-26 10:30:09-04

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — The Latest on an AP interview with Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo (all times local):

9:20 p.m.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, leader of the world’s most populous Muslim nation, says he would invite President Donald Trump to visit his country “with pleasure.”

Widodo spoke in an interview with The Associated Press on Friday, during a tour of the capital of Jakarta. He was asked about what is widely perceived as anti-Muslim rhetoric and policies by Trump, including sweeping travel restrictions on citizens of several Muslim-majority countries.

Widodo says it will be “the government’s pleasure to invite Trump to visit Indonesia.” He says he believes the Indonesian people would also welcome Trump.

Indonesia has nearly 270 million people and nearly 90% are Muslims. Widodo was re-elected in April and promises sweeping reforms to attract more foreign investment.


9:10 p.m.

Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo tells The Associated Press it’s “entirely possible” he could ban the hard-line Islamic Defenders Front during his final five-year term.

The group wants Shariah law to apply to Indonesia’s 230 million Muslims. It was a key player in organizing massive street protests in 2016 and 2017 against the governor of Jakarta, a Widodo ally, who was subsequently imprisoned for blasphemy.

Widodo said in an interview Friday a ban of the group was possible, “if the government review from a security and ideological standpoint shows that they are not in line with the nation.”

The front was once on the political fringes in the world’s most populous Muslim nation, but has gained significant influence through humanitarian and charity work.

Widodo in 2017 banned Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia, a group that campaigned for a global caliphate.


9 p.m.

Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo says he is freed from political constraints in his final term and vows to push sweeping economic reforms.

Widodo told The Associated Press on Friday, “In the next five years I have no political burden so in making a decision, especially important decisions for the country, in my opinion it will be easier.”

Widodo’s victory in the April election was confirmed last month after the country’s top court rejected a legal challenge from his rival.

Widodo says cumbersome bureaucracy will be simplified. He says labor laws will be overhauled in what will be a politically challenging decision to attract more investment and create more jobs.

Regarding labor laws, he said, “Some will be happy, some people will not be happy.”