Mon, 31 Oct 1994

Soeharto inspects final APEC preparations in Bogor

JAKARTA (JP): President Soeharto on Saturday led a thorough inspection of the Bogor Presidential Palace to ensure that preparations were adequate and that "all systems were go" for the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting (AELM) on Nov. 15.

During the three-hour check-up, Soeharto, who was accompanied by his wife Tien Soeharto and other government officials and ministers, also practiced welcoming each guest at the limousines from which they will disembark.

The 18 economic leaders who make up the APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) group will arrive at the historic palace in individual limousines in five-minute intervals, each leader with a 10-car entourage plus several motorbike convoys.

Abdul Rachman Ramly, former Indonesian Ambassador to the United States, accompanied Soeharto during the inspection and took the initiative to act as one of the President's guests.

He pretended to come out of a limousine and was received not only with the usual handshake from Soeharto, who immediately took his stand at the Palace entrance, but got a pat on the back as well.

Soeharto guided his "counterpart" to his right side and gave several minutes for "photographers", who will be standing on a 10-meter long podium in front of the main entrance, to snap their shots.

The Bogor Palace, built in 1745 by Dutch governor general Gustav Willem van Inhoff, is said to have been one of the favorite leisure spots for Indonesia's first president Sukarno. The president also had numerous statues of nude females scattered around the 28 hectares of Palace grounds.

17-meter podium

The AELM will take place in the Garuda Room of the main building. The back of the room has been equipped with a 17-meter long podium for the APEC leaders to stand on when photographers take their pictures and for when the leaders report the results of their talks to the mass media.

Another 30-meter podium across from this has been set up to accommodate journalists and reporters who will attend the press conferences.

After checking out the Teratai Room, where the leaders will wait while the other dignitaries arrive, Soeharto inspected the facilities prepared for news media.

He received detailed information on the dozens of telephone booths set up there and the special room prepared to accommodate awaiting journalists and reporters.

Special performances are scheduled to entertain the media people to keep them from getting bored.

Mini studios have also been set up for the electronic media such as Indonesia's TVRI, Japan's NHK and TBC, the U.S.' CNN as well as Reuters, AFP and WTI. (pwn)

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