We only gave his aircraft priority in taking off."
Kuta, Bali (ANTARA News) - Former US President Barack Obama and family left Bali for Yogyakarta after spending a week holidaying on the resort island.

The family arrived in Bali on Friday last week to begin a nine-day trip to Indonesia that Obama called home for several years.

A parade of cars carrying Obama and family arrived at the Ngurah Rai air force base in Tuban area at 11.45 local time under tight security guard by police and the military.

Hundreds of police and military officers lined the 40 kilometer road passed by the group from Ubud in Gianjar to the Ngurah Rai Internastional Airport.

Security was tighter at the east entrance gate of the airport near the Ngurah Rai air force base. The entrance gate is used for very important guests such as Saudi King Salman and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika, Udayana Military Chief Maj.Gen. Komaruddin Simanjuntak, Bali Police Chief Insp.Gen. Petrus Golose and Ngurah Rai Air Force Base commander Col. Wayan Superman were there to see off the 44th US. president and family.

Col. Wayan Superman said the commercial Ngura Rai airport operated normally when the aircraft carrying Obama took off.

"It was the same when Obama arrived. We only gave his aircraft priority in taking off," he said.

Commercial aircraft which happened to take off or to land by the time Obamas aircraft took off were asked to wait until the private jet Gulfstream N50JE that carried Obama was on the air.

Obama was to arrive in Yogyakarta around 12.30 local time. From the city of Yogyakarta, the group is to visit the ancient Buddhist temple Borobudur.

Report said Obamas half sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng joined the family to Yogyakarta where Obamas mother Ann Dunham once did anthropological research.

Obama was also invited to the Bogor Presidential Palace in West Java. He is to speak to the 4th Indonesian Diaspora Congress in Jakarta on July 1, and will visit several cultural heritage sites across the country.

Obamas trip coincides with aggressive campaign by Indonesias Tourism Ministry to promote travel to the country, especially from the United States. The Tourism Ministry will display promotional material in Times Square in New York City during the Obamass vacation.

"It was effective because there was a momentum," Tourism Minister Arief Yahya was quoted as saying by a local newspaper in Jakarta.

The Tourism Ministry often launches these campaigns during visits from foreign leaders. The ministry funded a similar campaign in March when Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud visited Indonesia for 11 days.

Obama moved to the country at age 6 with his mother, and then moved back to the U.S. at age 10 to live with his grandparents.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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