Surabaya, East Java (ANTARA News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, flanked by First Lady Ani Yudhoyono, attended the 80th anniversary of GP Ansor, the youth wing of the Nahdlatul Ulama Islamic organization, here on Saturday evening.

Besides NU clerics and NU executives, a number of cabinet ministers also attended the event, including sports and youth minister Roy Suryo, defense minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro, defense forces (TNI) commander General Moeldoko and national police chief General Sutarman.

President Yudhoyono arrived at 7.30pm, welcomed by thousands of GP Ansor members who had been at the anniversary celebration since the afternoon.

GP Ansor general chairman Nusron Wahid, in his speech, warmly welcomed President Yudhoyono.

"According to our records, since taking office in 2004 the President has attended GP Ansors anniversary celebration nine times," he said, drawing applause from attendees.

Nusron said Indonesia is currently facing three main problems, namely a lessening of nationalism, as well as corruption and poverty.

He expressed his appreciation to President Yudhoyono, who has worked to meet his pledge to eradicate corruption without discrimination, as has been proven by the arrests of many corrupt legislative, executive and judicial officials.

Also, the general chairman of Nahdlatul Ulama, one of the largest Islamic organizations in the country, Said Aqil Siradj, in his address said he hoped GP Ansor could continue to contribute to the nation and state as part of efforts to integrate Islam into the country.

Reporting by Muhammad Arief Iskandar

Editor: Ella Syafputri
Copyright © ANTARA 2014