Obama appears to take swipe at Trump over Paris climate accord

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Former U.S. President Barack Obama urged Indonesians on Saturday to resist divisive politics based on race and religion, saying the world's most populous Muslim nation has a long history of tolerance that should be preserved.

Indonesia's reputation for pluralism has come under scrutiny since Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, an ethnic-Chinese Christian, was sentenced in May to two years in prison for blasphemy in a trial that came after Islamist-led rallies.

The former president seemed to take a swipe at President Donald Trump over his decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate agreement. "In Paris, we came together around the most ambitious agreement in history to fight climate change," Obama said Saturday in a speech in Jakarta. Obama said it was an agreement "that even with the temporary absence of American leadership will still give our children a fighting chance."

Click through to find out where Obamas have traveled post-White House:

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Where Obamas Have Traveled Post-White House
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Where Obamas Have Traveled Post-White House

After eight years in office, the Obamas headed off on a well-deserved break in January.

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The first stop (after a very brief stint in Palm Springs) was Necker Island.

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This 72-acre island — located in the British Virgin Islands — is owned by British entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson.

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It's one of the most exclusive places to stay in the world.

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It can sleep a maximum of 34 guests.

Courtesy of Virgin Limited Edition

An individual room on the island starts at $4,280 a night, for a week minimum.

Courtesy of Virgin Limited Edition
The entire island can also be rented for $78,000 a day.

Courtesy of Virgin Limited Edition

Obama has been enjoying activities since he's been away. On his blog, Branson shared photos of the former US president kitesurfing off nearby Moskito Island.

Reuters

According to Branson, this was the first time Obama had kite-surfed since his time in office.

Reuters

Branson wrote on his blog that he challenged Obama to a competition to see who could learn how to kite-surf and foil board more quickly.

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Branson said that inviting the Obamas to his island was "a huge honor," the Associated Press reported.

Reuters

Source: Associated Press

Branson admitted that Obama won the challenge, managing to kite-surf 100 meters on his board.

Reuters

After a quick pit stop in San Jose, California to meet some tech executives, Obama headed to his home state of Hawaii to play a round of golf at Mid Pacific Country Golf Club. He was later spotted dining at laid-back surf-and-turf restaurant Buzz's Lanikai in Kailua.

Facebook/Mid-Pacific Country Club

Source: Star Advertiser and Time 

The Brando is named after the late Marlon Brando, who bought the island in 1967.

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It was then transformed into a luxury resort in 2014.

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The resort has 35 villas on a white-sand beach. A one-bedroom villa costs north of $2,500 per night in the low season and more than $3,800 in the high season.

The Brando

The villas have between one and three bedrooms; each has its own plunge pool.

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Activities are a big part of the Polynesian experience. Local news station TNTV published photos of Michelle Obama paddle boarding after she joined her husband in French Polynesia.

Besides enjoying the water activities, the former president is rumored to have been working on his memoirs during their stay at The Brando, according to the Telegraph.

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Source: The Telegraph


 

The Obamas then joined Bruce Springsteen, Tom Hanks, and Oprah Winfrey aboard David Geffen's "Rising Sun" yacht off the Island of Moorea in the South Pacific. Obama spent nearly a month in French Polynesia.

In May, the Obamas headed to Italy, beginning with a brief stop in Milan, where Barack Obama delivered a sold-out speech at the Food Innovation Summit.

Source: The Times

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The couple went on to Tuscany for a six-day vacation, staying at Borgo Finocchieto, a restored 14th-century village that is now a private hotel.

Facebook/Borgo Finocchieto

Source: Business Insider

The property is owned by John Phillips, an American who served as US Ambassador to Italy under the Obama administration from 2013 to early 2017. Phillips bought the abandoned village and began renovations in 2001.

Facebook/Borgo Finocchieto
While vacationing in Tuscany, Michelle Obama was spotted exploring the nearby town of Montalcino.

Barack was also pictured playing golf at the Castiglion del Bosco course, a 15-minute drive away from Phillips' property.

Source: Daily Mail

The couple also managed to sample some of Italy's best food, cooked by world-renowned Italian chef Massimo Bottura at an event hosted by John Phillips.

 Source: Huffington Post

Since their Italian vacation, President Obama has been traveling around Europe on business for the Obama Foundation, Time reported. He was also seen golfing at St. Andrews in Scotland.

This June, the Obama family is reportedly staying at the $2,500-a-night Four Seasons hotel in Bali, Indonesia.

Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan/Trip Advisor

Source: Daily Mail

The whole family was spotted whitewater rafting in the Ayung River.

Later, they visited the Tirta Empul temple, which is famed for its holy water. Michelle, Malia, and Sasha donned yellow sarongs for the visit.

Source: Daily Mail

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Obama, who was on a personal visit to the country where he spent some of his childhood, also said the Muslim community in Indonesia had historically protected Hindu and Buddhist temples.

"Indonesia is made of thousands of islands, hundreds of languages, scores of regions and ethnic groups. So my time here made me cherish and respect for people's differences," he told a packed audience in Jakarta.

Obama stopped short of mentioning any specific cases of racial or religious intolerance.

"It is very important here in Indonesia, the United States, Europe, everywhere, to fight against the politics of 'us and them'," he said to cheers from thousands of mostly Indonesians who have worked or studied abroad.

He arrived in Jakarta after visiting the cultural city of Yogyakarta and white-water rafting on the tourist island of Bali. He also met Indonesian President Joko Widodo in Bogor, south of the capital.

Indonesia, a country of 250 million people, has experienced rising intolerance against non-Muslims and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

A leader of Indonesia's second-largest Muslim organization this week called for a boycott of Starbucks, saying that the international coffee chain's pro-gay stand risks ruining the "religious and cultured" core of the country.

(Reporting by Fransiska Nangoy; Writing by Eveline Danubrata; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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