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Jokowi says G-20 meetings helped cool U.S.-China tensions

Indonesia leader pleased with progress, as states finally agreed on Ukraine stance

A relaxed President Joko Widodo speaks to Nikkei Asia in Bali on Nov. 17 after handing over presidency of the G-20 summit to India. Jokowi said the Bali summit was successful in tamping down tensions between nations: "Considering all the raging rivalries, conflicts and war, I think the outcomes are very maximal." (Photo by Nana Shibata)

BALI, Indonesia -- Indonesian President Joko Widodo looked relaxed, with the Group of 20 summit finally over, saying face-to-face meetings between world leaders including U.S. President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping have had "an enormous impact" on reducing tensions.

"Communication between leaders is important," Jokowi, as the president is better known, told Nikkei Asia in an exclusive interview on Thursday, a day after the end of the summit on the Indonesian resort island of Bali. "Many didn't know each other well because some prime ministers, some presidents are new. It turns out after meeting this [or that] person, they're nice."

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