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Indian President on Bali Visit

Official 5 Day State Visit to Indonesia Curtailed Due to Mambai Attacks. Indian President Prays for Peace at Bali Temple.

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Indian President Pratibha Devisingh Patil landed with her group on a chartered jet in Bali on Friday, November 28, 2008, commencing what was to be an official 5 day state visit to Indonesia.

According to Kompas, a chartered Air India flight landed at 7:05 p.m. on Friday evening. The Indian President, clad in a traditional orange "sari" and leading a group of 60 were formally welcomed at Bali's airport by Baliís Chief of Police Inspector General T. Ashikin Husein, Bal's Governor Made Mangku Pastika and the Head of the Udayana military command Major-General Hotmangaradja Pandjaitan.

The Indian visitors immediately boarded vehicles for the short trip to their hotel located in nearby Jimbaran Bay.

The Indian delegation toured eastern Bali where they viewed the Taman Ayu Temple at Mengwi and the majestic rice terraces at Jatiluweh accompanied by the regent of Badung, Anak Agung Gede Agung. On Saturday evening Governor Pastika hosted the group to dinner before their departure on Sunday for Jakarta.

During the stop at the 17th centure Taman Ayung tremple, President Prahtibha Devisingh Patil offered prayers for peace and an end to terrorism. The Indian President told the press: "At this temple that is known for peace, serenity and prosperity,I prayed for peace in my country and for its people. I prayed for thepeace of mankind, and that good sense should prevail on those whocarry out acts of cruelty. I prayed that all religions and countriescome together to face the challenge of terrorism."

The official visit by the Indian delegation was scheduled to last until 3 December to foster closer relations between Indonesia and India in the areas of politics, economics, trade, investment and tourism. Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Indian President Pratibha Devisingh Patil are scheduled to witness the signing of memorandums of understanding between the two countries in the areas of youth and sports, gas and oil, agriculture and educational exchanges.Due to the vicious attacks that took place last week in Mumbai, the Indian delegation will cut short its visit to Indonesia, flying back to India on December 1, 2008.

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