Indonesian president travels to the Mideast

The Indonesian president left Tuesday for the Middle East where he will promote investment opportunities in the power sector and other industries in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's 10-day tour will include stops in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan - where is slated to meet Palestinian Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, diplomats said. Indonesia, a sprawling nation of 220 million people, desperately needs funds for infrastructure projects, including a deal reached over the weekend with Chinese firms to develop coal-fired power plants. Money also will be needed for ports, turnpikes and other construction projects, Indonesian officials told The Jakarta Post ahead of the trip.