U.S. secretary of state due to arrive in Indonesia

The U.S. secretary of state was due to arrive in Indonesia early Tuesday, seeking the massive Muslim nation's cooperation in the war on terror and its help in persuading Palestinians to make peace with Israel.

The United States is keen to support Indonesia because its a mostly moderate democratic country that has seen a string of attacks by al-Qaida linked militants. The countries have traditionally been good friends, despite disagreements over the U.S.-led invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.

During her two-day visit, Condoleezza Rice will tour an Islamic boarding school and meet key government ministers, including President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, a U.S.-trained former army general who won the country's first direct elections for head of state in 2004.

She told reporters before leaving Washington that she looked forward to discussing common concerns about terrorism and "any assistance that we can continue to give to Indonesia" to help its fight.

Indonesia refuses to recognize Israel and has urged the international community to support a Hamas-led government in the Palestinian territories despite the militant group's refusal to renounce violence, reports the AP.

I.L.