Banda Aceh, Aceh (ANTARA News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono opened Aceh`s Cultural Week Festival (PKA) VI at Taman Ratu Safiatuddin Park, in Banda Aceh City on Friday.

When opening the Aceh cultural week festival, the President was clad in Acehnese traditional costumes, accompanied by First Lady Mrs Ani Yudhoyono and a number of his cabinet ministers.

Among the ministers who accompanied the president were Coordinating Minister for People`s Welfare Agung Laksono, Minister for Administrative Reforms Azwar Abubakar, Education Minister M Nuh, Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Marie Elka Pangestu and Minister/State Secretary Sudi Silalahi.

Before the President opened the festival, the head of the Central Aceh District handed over the PKA Challenged Cup to Aceh Governor Zaini Abdullah. The Central Aceh District was the overall champion in the PKA V festival in 2009.

The Aceh cultural week is the biggest cultural festival in Aceh usually attended by 23 districts and the Aceh City in Aceh province. The province has a population of about 5 million.

President Yudhoyono earlier received an honorary doctorate degree in the field of law and peace from the Syiah Kuala University (Unsyiah), Banda Aceh, on Thursday night.

On the occaion, Yudhoyono called on the Acehnese people to remain optimistic about developing their region in an effort to reach better prosperity, just and lasting peace.

"We have traveled the journey (of history) quite long and many victims have fallen, so we should maintain peace," the President said on the sidelines of his scientific oration when receiving the honorary doctorate degree on Thursday night.

Yudhoyono on the conferment of honorary doctorate degree with regard to the Unsyiah 52nd anniversary also said that Aceh has turned into a peaceful territory and its people should be prepared to develop the region.

"Let us forget the past wounds and continue to rise together for the Aceh`s future that is more just and prosperous," the President said.

The President believed that Indonesia`s western-most province of Aceh will continue to rise and secure the peace.

The honorary doctorate degree conferment by Unsyiah in the former restive province among other things was attended by First Lady Ani Yudhoyono and several cabinet ministers.

The President is also scheduled to say his Friday prayer at Banda Aceh`s Baiturrahman Grand Mosque before he leaves for Jakarta.

Editor: AA Ariwibowo
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