Obama calls Indonesian president after bombings

President Obama called Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono Saturday after two suicide bombings targeting western hotels on Friday.

Obama expressed "support and solidarity" for the Indonesian government in the wake of the attacks, according to a White House readout of the call.

ADVERTISEMENT
"The President and President Yudhoyono reaffirmed the close cooperation between the United States and Indonesia in countering extremism in Southeast Asia and around the world," the White House readout said. "The President noted that Indonesia's successful election on July 8 reminds the world that Islam, democracy, and diversity can coexist and thrive."

The bombings at JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels in Jakarta on Friday are reportedly being linked to Islamic groups with ties to Al Qaeda. The bombings also came shortly after Yudhoyono was reelected by strong margins, a political achievement on which the White House said Obama congratulated the Indonesian leader.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also condemned the Indonesian bombings as a "painful reminder" of extremist threats during a speech in India on Saturday.

Yesterday's bombings in Jakarta, Indonesia provide a painful reminder that the threat of such violent extremism is still very real," Clinton said. "It is global, it is ruthless, it is nihilistic, and it must be stopped."

"The United States will work with the Indian Government, the Indonesian government, and other nations and people who seek peace and security to confront and defeat these violent extremists," she added. "And we will do our utmost to create a world of opportunity where there is more space for progress, peace and prosperity, and less space for intolerance, violence and hate."

Of note, Clinton made the remarks at the Taj Palace Hotel in Mumbai, India, which was targeted in a series of bombings and sieges last November by Pakistani-based terrorists.