Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II will grant a medal of knighthood to Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono during his forthcoming visit to Britain, which is set to commence on Tuesday.
“The medal is called the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath. It is said to be a recognition [of some sort], but I don’t know exactly what [it’ll be given to Yudhyono] for and will not make any guesses,” Indonesian presidential spokesman Teuku Faizasyah said on Monday.
He added that there would be no special ceremony for the presentation of the medal, but the queen was expected to give it to Yudhoyono after a lunch banquet in London on Wednesday.
Past recipients of the order include former US president Ronald Reagan, former French president Jacques Chirac and current Turkish president Abdullah Gul.
The Order of the Bath is the fourth-most senior of the British Orders of Chivalry, after The Most Noble Order of the Garter, The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle and The Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick.
The Knight Grand Cross is the highest of three classes within the Order of the Bath, which is awarded to military members or civilians who have made outstanding achievements.
Yudhoyono is slated to be in London for a three-day working visit. He will leave Jakarta for London on Tuesday and then fly to Laos on Nov. 3, Faizasyah said in a statement.
The president will be accompanied by his spouse, Ani Yudhoyono, and a retinue of officials, the spokesman added.
He said the visit to Britain was to honor an invitation by by Queen Elizabeth II, while the during working portion of the visit to Laos the president will attend the 9th summit of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) there.
Besides attending a number of state events attended by Queen Elizabeth II while in London, Yudhoyono will also hold a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron, the Prince of Wales, chairman of the Liberal Democrat Party Nick Clegg and opposition leader Ed Miliband.
“The state visit by the Indonesian president, at the request of Queen Elizabeth II, will hopefully enhance cooperation between the two countries, bilaterally or in the context of joint efforts in facing various global issues,” Faizasyah said.
He said that during Cameron’s visit to Jakarta in April, it was agreed that bilateral cooperation would focus on trade, investment, education, environment, democracy and interfaith cooperation.
The president will also deliver speeches at several forums, including the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Indonesia, the Royal College for Defense Studies and Wilton Park.
He is also scheduled to co-chair the second high-level panel on post-millenium development goals. The first meeting was held on the margin of the 67th UN general assembly in New York in September. Cameron and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the President of Liberia, are the other co-chairmen.
Yudhoyono’s visit to Laos will commence on Nov. 3 to honor the invitation of Laotian President Choummaly. Yudhoyono will hold a bilateral meeting with the host.
“The state visit of the president to Laos will feasibly enhance bilateral relations between Indonesia and Laos in various fields, and promote the joint interests of the region, especially through Asean,” Faizasyah said.
On the margin of the ASEM summit, Yudhoyono is also scheduled to attend the 13th Asia-Europe Business Forum and also to participate in several meetings, including with French President Francois Hollande.
Faizasyah said that the summit will discuss joint efforts in overcoming various global issues, especially the global economic crisis.