Indonesian president cuts short Silicon Valley tour

Silicon Valley has become a destination as indispensable as the White House for some foreign heads of state, but Indonesian President Joko Widodo has cut short his trip to respond to disaster back home.

Widodo had plans to meet this week with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. Nadella was to host him for a chat at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View on Wednesday, and Pichai and Widodo were set to jointly announce a partnership at a Google office later in the day.

Those events have now been delegated to Widodo’s Cabinet ministers, and some meetings have been canceled.

Vice President Joe Biden shakes hands with Indonesian President Joko Widodo as he arrives for lunch at the Naval Observatory, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015 in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Vice President Joe Biden shakes hands with Indonesian President Joko Widodo as he arrives for lunch at the Naval Observatory, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015 in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Widodo, who was sworn in as president just over a year ago, met with President Barack Obama on Monday and announced that Indonesia would join the Trans-Pacific Partnership. He met with Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday at the Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C., but instead of flying to San Francisco he is now traveling to the Indonesian regions affected by a deadly haze caused by forest fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan.

His ministers still plan to make an announcement with Google on Wednesday. If it’s anything like the announcement made with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month, it will likely involve some kind of Google-sponsored Internet connectivity project in the world’s fourth most populous country.

Above: Motorists ride on a road through a burnt peatland field in Pedamaran, South Sumatra, Indonesia, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015. The haze from forest fires has blanketed parts of western Indonesia for about two months and affected neighboring countries like Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. (AP Photos/Bagus Kurniawan)

 

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