BALI, Indonesia — After nixing the tradition of wearing festive local garb at the APEC summit in Hawaii this past weekend, President Obama got on board at the East Asia Summit in Bali, joining his counterparts in wearing an embroidered Indonesian dress shirt to dinner Friday night.
Just five days ago, Obama explained his decision to end the practice of wearing matching costumes at APEC. “I got rid of the Hawaiian shirts because I looked at pictures of some of the previous APEC meetings and… I thought this may be a tradition that we might want to break,” he said at a press conference in Hawaii.
Obama, the first U.S. president to attend the East Asia Summit, arrived at dinner Friday in an ornate green dress shirt with orange accents. The other leaders wore similar shirts in a variety of colors.
Earlier today the president said he was pleased to be attending the summit for the first time. “This is another example of how the United States is refocusing on the Asia Pacific, and engaging more deeply in regional organizations, so we can meet our common challenges together,” Obama said following a bilateral meeting with the Indonesian president.