Jakarta, June 13 (ANTARA) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono left here Monday for six-day visits to Switzerland and Japan from June 13 to 18, 2011.
The head of state and First Lady Ani Yudhoyono departed from Halim Perdanakusuma air force base at 8 am local time by Garuda Indonesia Airbus A 330-300.
The presidential entourage includes Trade Minister Mari Elka Pangestu, Industry Minister MS Hidayat, Manpower and Transmigration Minister Muhaimin Iskandar, East Java Governor Soekarno, South Sumatra Governor Alex Noerdin, and Chairman of the Indonesian Businessmen Association (APINDO) Sofyan Wanandi.
Among those seeing off the president at the airport were Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Hatta Radjasa, Chief of the Indonesian Defense Forces Admiral Agus Suhartono, Police Chief General Timur Pradopo, and Foreign Affairs Minister Marty Natalegawa.
President Yudhoyono is in Geneva, Switzerland, June 13-15, 2011 to attend the 100th Conference of the International Labor Organization (ILO).
ILO has invited the head of state to deliver a keynote speech. In Geneva, Yudhoyono will also hold a meeting with the World Health Organization (WHO) Director General and visit the ILO Headquarters.
From Geneva, he will proceed to Japan on June 15 for a visit at the invitation of Japanese Emperor Akihito. The president is scheduled to visit Miyagi Prefecture, which has been devastated by a major earthquake and tsunami.
Presidential Spokesman Julian Aldrin Pasha said earlier that the president's visit to Japan was to express sympathy and empathy to victims of the deadly earthquake and tsunami hitting Japan last March 2011.
He will also hold a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto and deliver a general lecture on "Responding to International Challenges, Strengthening Indonesia-Japan Relations," at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS) in Tokyo.
Yudhoyono and the entourage will return to Jakarta on Saturday, June 18. ***6*** (f001/A/O001)