White House says Indonesia president Joko Widodo to visit on Oct 26

Indonesia's President Joko Widodo delivers a statement on the economy  in Jakarta on Sept 9,
Indonesia's President Joko Widodo delivers a statement on the economy in Jakarta on Sept 9,PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The White House on Monday announced that Indonesia's Joko Widodo will visit Washington on Oct 26 for a crucial first visit since becoming president last year.

"As leaders of two of the largest democracies in the world, the president and President Widodo will discuss plans to expand existing areas of bilateral cooperation," a White House statement said.

The visit will be an opportunity for both presidents to measure each other up.

It also comes as President Barack Obama - who once lived in Indonesia - presses for Jakarta to play a bigger role in regional affairs.

The world's most populous Muslim nation has long punched below its weight, struggling with domestic economic and democratic development.