Jakarta (ANTARA News) - First Lady Iriana Widodo introduced batik, the traditional Indonesian technique of wax resist dyeing, to the wives of heads of state at the Textile Museum in Central Jakarta on Wednesday.

The event was dedicated to the wives of heads of state attending the Asia-Africa Conference in Jakarta.

East Timors First Lady Taur Matan Ruak, Zimbabwes First Lady Robert Mugabe, Madagascars First Lady Hery Rajaonarimampianina, Mufidah Kalla, and Veronica Tan were present at the event.

The entourage arrived at the Textile Museum around 10.00 A.M. local time and was welcomed by First Lady Iriana and Mufidah Kalla. The wife of every head of state received a batik similar to that was worn by Iriana and Mufidah Kalla on the occasion.

The delegation made a tour of the Textile Museum that has a collection of batik and woven fabrics. Lady Iriana and Mufidah Kalla also invited their guest to see the batik process.

Taur Matan Ruak and Robert Mugabe tried their hand at batik-making.

Earlier, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo greeted several heads of state/government of Asian and African countries who arrived at the Jakarta Convention Center here for the Asian-African Summit on Wednesday.

Heads of state/government began arriving in batches from 8:30 A.M. local time. President Jokowi welcomed the guests who were then ushered to the conference room.

Those who were received by the president included Sultan Hasanal Bolkiah of Brunei Darussalam, President Xi Jinping of China, Prime Minister Rami Al Hamdallah of Palestine, President Robert Mugabe of Zimbawe, King Abdullah-II of Jordan, President Hassan Rouhani of Iran, and Prime Minister Prayut Chan o Cha of Thailand, among others.

During an exclusive interview with ANTARA at Merdeka Palace here on Monday, President Jokowi noted that regional stability was a prerequisite to economic growth and the efforts to maintain stability were absolutely necessary.

"Whatever we say, regional stability is important as political stability and security can encourage the economic growth of a country, a region, and even the world," the president remarked.

He further noted that in the absence of regional stability, no country in the region can show good economic growth.

He pointed out that stability and security in the Asian region have led to better economic growth as compared to several other regions.

"We in the ASEAN have good political stability and security and that should be maintained for better economic growth in the region," the president stressed.

Jokowi explained that besides political stability and security, interstate and regional connectivity also play an important role in the economic growth of a region.(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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