Conservative Indonesia minister avoids Michelle

All of Indonesia is welcoming President Barack Obama, but one minister has a decidedly less friendly message.

Last Updated: Nov 09, 2010, 22:48 PM IST

Jakarta: All of Indonesia is welcoming President Barack Obama, but one minister has a decidedly less friendly message.

Information Minister Tifatul Sembiring told followers
on Twitter he tried to avoid shaking the first lady`s hand. As
a conservative Muslim, he usually avoids contact with women
outside his family.

Sembiring was in a receiving line that greeted the
Obamas in Jakarta today - a homecoming of sorts for the
president who spent part of his childhood here.

Footage of the event showed Sembiring smiling broadly
as he reached with both hands to grasp Michelle`s. But later
he said she forced their contact.

He tweeted: "I tried to prevent (being touched) with
my hands but Mrs. Michelle held her hands too far toward me
(so) we touched."

PTI