President Yudhoyono cancels participation in World Economic Forum

President Yudhoyono cancels participation in World Economic Forum

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (ANTARA FOTO/Andika Wahyu)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has cancelled plans to attend the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, due to natural disasters affecting several regions in Indonesia.

His spokesman, Julian Aldrin Pasha, said by telephone to Antara here on Tuesday that the President had decided to miss the annual meeting to ensure that the disasters on the home front were handled efficiently.

He noted that President Yudhoyono had planned to attend the WEF from January 22 to 25 but then decided to prioritize handling the ongoing natural disasters affecting several parts of Indonesia.

Dozens of people have died due to recent floods and landslides in Manado, North Sulawesi, as well as floods in Jakarta, while thousands of people have been evacuated.

In North Sumatra, several thousand people have also been evacuated due to the continuing eruptions of Mount Sinabung.

Julian claimed the President had decided to send Finance Minister Chatib Basri to represent him at the meeting.

"The Presidents presence is expected at WEF 2014 because Professor Schwab, the founder and executive chairman, planned to present the Global Statesman Award to him for various achievements he has made over the past 10 years in leading Indonesia in the international arena, especially with regard to the economy and the concepts of humanity and democracy," he stated.

Before President Yudhoyono, the award was presented to Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva.

Reporting by Panca Hari Prabowo