Indonesian President Leaves for Middle East, Urges Calm at Home
Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid left Jakarta Thursday on a two week trip to the Middle East, urging people to be calm and professing himself unworried about possible moves to unseat him during his absence, said reports.
Wahid will visit Yemen, UAE, Sudan, Egypt and Nigeria, ending his trip by performing the Hajj in Saudi Arabia, reported the Iranian News Agency, citing the official Antara news agency.
He is scheduled to return to Jakarta on March 7th, said IRNA.
"Be calm," Wahid said, when asked if he had a parting message for the Indonesian people.
"There is nothing going on. Mrs. Mega is here," AFP quoted him as saying that Wahid was referring to Vice President Megawati Sukarnoputri, who accompanied him to the aircraft before his departure from Jakarta's military airport at 8.45 am (0145 GMT).
Defence Minister Mohammad Mahfud, who was among those seeing Wahid off, predicted that the political pot would keep boiling during Wahid's absence, said AFP.
Megawati, the most likely person to succeed Wahid should he be forced out of power, ordered MPs to steer clear of moves for a rapid impeachment, added the agency.
Wahid has visited more than 50 countries since he took office in October 1999, said IRNA.
Critics have accused him of neglecting a myriad of domestic problems, focusing instead on his overseas visits, according to the agency – Albawaba.com
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