Visiting Portugal, President SBY Receives Golden Key to Lisbon City
In the end of the series of his three-day visit to Portugal, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY), who was accompanied by First Lady Madam Ani Yudhoyono, received the golden key to Lisbon City from Mayor Antonio Costa, in the Lisbon City Hall, Portugal, on Friday afternoon local time or Friday evening west Indonesia time.
Mayor Antonio Costa said that the golden key was presented to President SBY because President SBY is considered to have played significant roles in developing cooperation between both countries and cooperation between Lisbon and Jakarta.
I hope that in the future, Mr. President can promote both cities cultures and cooperation, Mayor Costa said. He also said that he was proud that Lisbon became one of the cities which President SBY visited in the end of his tenure as the President of the Republic of Indonesia.
Meanwhile, in his remarks, President SBY accepted the golden key as the symbol of increasing cooperation between Indonesia and Portugal. I accept this golden key to Lisbon City as the symbol of our readiness to open more cooperation between both countries and between both cities, he said.
President SBY himself mentioned Lisbon as one of the most important cities in which the world exploration started and the city which pioneered major expeditions and contacts between Europe and Asia.
According to President SBY, Indonesia-Portugal relations have been established for long time, as evidenced by Indonesias keroncong music which is influenced by Portuguese folk music named Fado. Acehnese culture was also influenced to a certain extent by Portuguese culture in the era of Portuguese colonialism.
Those facts give us strong reason to strengthen the relation of both countries citizens. These issues became the topic of my discussion with Portuguese President and Prime Minister, President SBY explained.
In the end of their discussion, President SBY received a book containing Portuguese childrens paintings which portray both countries friendship. In addition, President SBY and his entourage were also entertained by a performance of Fado music.
Meeting Portuguese President and Prime Minister
Previously in the series of his visit to Portugal, President SBY had met Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva, Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho, and Assembly President Maria Da Assuncao Andrades Esteves. President SBY also visited Jeronimos Monastery, a Portuguese historical building.
In the joint press conference with Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva in Presidential Office Palacio de Belem, Lisbon, on Friday afternoon (19/9) local time, President SBY said that in his meeting with Portuguese President, they discussed further the possibilities of cooperation between Portugal, Indonesia, and East Timor.
In my opinion, both Portugal and Indonesia can do more to help East Timor develop itself continually, both in its democratic processes and in its economic development, President SBY said and then mentioned that the three countries cooperation will benefit their nations and their peoples respectively.
President SBY stated that in the last 15 years, both countries bilateral cooperation has been continually growing stronger, especially since President Silva visited Indonesia 2 years ago after both countries relations got into a state of stagnation due to problems related to East Timor.
Both countries have found the new relations and spirit to strengthen their cooperation again, President SBY explained.
He mentioned that both countries agree to increase cooperation in economic affairs, investment, energy, and infrastructure development. Both countries see the potential for increasing cooperation in other sectors, especially in fisheries and maritime affairs.
On the other side, Portuguese President said that his meeting with President SBY marks a new stage in Indonesia-Portugal relations. After President Silva visited Indonesia in 2012, now its the time President SBY makes a return visit to Portugal. Through this meeting, we revive our relations which actually have been established since five centuries ago, President Silva stated.
Indonesia, President Silva said, holds an important position in global communities. Portugal is very proud of President SBYs achievements, especially in Southeast Asian region. Congratulations to President SBY and thank you for responding to my visit to Indonesia two years ago, President Silva said.
Previously, on Friday morning (19/9) at 10.00 AM local time, President SBY together with First Lady Madam Ani Yudhoyono visited Jeronimos Monastery, a historical building in Portugal which was built in 1502 and designated by UNESCO in 1983 as one of the World Heritage Sites.
Jeronimos Monastery is a building which houses the tomb of Luis Vaz de Camoes, a Portuguese renowned poet who was then recognized as Portugals national hero. Born in 1524, Camoes once set foot in Malacca. He wrote the epic of the voyage undertaken by Vasco da Gama who traveled around the world and once set foot in Nusantara archipelago. Camoes most renowned masterpiece is Os Lusidas or The Lusiads. Camoes died in 1580.
President SBY laid a wreath in the tomb, accompanied with three songs which were performed by the military band for the moment of silence. Afterward, President SBY and Madam Ani Yudhoyono walked around and observed the interior of Jeronimos Monastery, accompanied by the monasterys director who explained the monasterys history in brief.
In this visit to Portugal, President SBY and First Lady Madam Ani Yudhoyono were accompanied by, among others, Coordinating Minister of Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Djoko Suyanto, Coordinating Minister of Economic Affairs Chairul Tanjung, Minister of State Secretariat Sudi Silalahi, Minister of Foreign Affairs Marty Natalegawa, Cabinet Secretary Dipo Alam, and Minister of Industry MS Hidayat. (SI/ES)