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World leaders step onto isle stage

The principal officials fly to Honolulu to take part in the high-level meetings

By B.J. Reyes

LAST UPDATED: 05:31 a.m. HST, Nov 12, 2011

President Barack Obama arrived in Honolulu late Friday night ahead of this weekend's top-level talks of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

Air Force One touched down at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam at 10:43 p.m.

Obama and first lady Michelle Obama emerged a few minutes later and were greeted by a contingent that included Gov. Neil Abercrombie, Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz, U.S. Reps. Mazie Hirono and Colleen Hanabusa, Mayor Peter Carlisle and Adm. Robert Willard, head of the Pacific Command.

Obama, dressed in khaki pants and a light long-sleeved shirt, met with the contingent for about five minutes then boarded a limousine with his wife for the short drive into Waikiki. Mrs. Obama was dressed in floral print dress and black cardigan. Neither of the Obamas were given lei.

The couple's daughters, Malia and Sasha, did not accompany their parents on the trip.

Just as with the arrival of other high-profile leaders, highways and overpasses were closed to vehicle traffic as the president's motorcade traveled to Waikiki.

The Obamas arrived after a day that began honoring service members in Washington, D.C., on the Veteran's Day holiday and then taking in the North Carolina-Michigan State game aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson in San Diego before heading to Honolulu.

Obama also spoke with Mexican President Felipe Calderon, who abruptly canceled his participation in APEC after the death of his top Cabinet secretary, Francisco Blake Mora, in a helicopter crash Friday.

The highest-level talks of this week's summit begin today with two of the 21 member nations' leaders absent due to tragedies in their homelands. In addition to Calderon, Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra canceled her participation to remain in her country and deal with massive flooding that has displaced hundreds of thousands of people.

Obama is scheduled to start his working weekend this morning with talks among the nine leaders of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a regional trade agreement, before participating in APEC meetings and bilateral talks with the leaders of Japan, China and Russia.

Chinese President Hu Jintao arrived Thursday. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and Japan Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda were among the world leaders who arrived Friday.

Medvedev flew in at 9:25 a.m., prompting police to shut down the H-1 freeway, overpasses and other roads to Waikiki as his motorcade left Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam at about 9:33 a.m. All roads and overpasses reopened by 9:51 a.m.

The Russian, Chinese and U.S. leaders require the highest security presence as they move around the island, police have said.

Other world leaders who came in Friday included Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, Sultan Sir Bolkiah Hassanal of Brunei, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Rabak, and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak arrived at about 9:30 p.m. Indonesia President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is scheduled to arrive today.

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HonoluluHawaii wrote:
"President Barack Obama arrived in Honolulu late Friday night ahead of this weekend's top-level talks of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit." This is strange I thought he was already here addressing the lock down crowd at the Convention Center earlier this week. Am I having an out of body experience or DID THIS SUMMIT JUST START NOW AND IT IS GOING TO LAST FOR ONE WEEK UNTIL November 20, 2011. And that he was here yesterday morning observing Veteran's Day at Punchbowl. OMG.
on November 12,2011 | 01:25AM
wiliki wrote:
Little unstable this morning on this blog. I seemed to have lost my comment. Anyway, I think that the Presidential motorcade went on Wilder Ave. Last nite. I was stuck in Makiki for about 1/2 hour. There seemed to be police at every intersection.
on November 12,2011 | 04:10AM
Denominator wrote:
Wow that's interesting!
on November 12,2011 | 10:12AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
There was a rush for Zippy's Vic-Pac, you know for Shane Victorino's Foundation?
on November 12,2011 | 02:16PM
serious wrote:
I don't get it. He's hosting this event and he's the last one to arrive---the punchbowl will be empty!!!
on November 12,2011 | 03:13AM
Kauikalewa wrote:
How sad that he arrived without Aloha. No lei for the First Lady. What happened to the warm greetings for this Hawai`i son? Again the absence of the core of who we are. Maybe the downplay is to have regard for somber events that preceded his arrival. Still he's entitled to have some time off and Hawaiian or Chinese food while he's home. His words of kindness and concern will be appreciated. He is still a talent to reconcile the differences in the world. We have a chance for something better because Hawai`i lives in him. Aloha Mr. President. Welcome home. We need you.
on November 12,2011 | 08:05AM
HD36 wrote:
Perhaps Hawaii has disowned their annointed Imam for bailing out his friends, the bankers, on Wall Street, and taxing us through inflation; brought about by his policies through the Federal Reserve to debase the currency. Perhaps it's because he has increased the Federal deficit more than all the other presidents before him combined! He will always be remembered as the president who spent America into economic collapse.
on November 12,2011 | 08:38AM
toomuchpilikia wrote:
OB1 sure has been an expensive President for our country. This is the result of voting for a person with absolutely no executive experience or never having to be responsible for a payroll. In his defense, he does talk a good talk with the use of a teleprompter and did do an excellent job in apologizing to the rest of world for America's success as a nation. Do you think China will apologize?
on November 12,2011 | 09:34AM
wiliki wrote:
No. I think that he had to stay in DC for Veteran's Day Events there. Because of the security risk, I think that leis are out for important visitors. The thought is nice though.
on November 12,2011 | 03:03PM
Kailua213 wrote:
More like cleaning up what past Presidents left behind. This President had more balls then the two Bush, Clinton, & Reagan. Smart move of having the APEC meeting in Hawaii, think about the thousand of dollars thats being pumped back into the economy of Hawaii, but also opening the market for the tourism industry(Russia, China, etc.). He has the vision of John F. Kennedy, only difference is, he's a local boy from HAWAI'I. Ia good night.
on November 12,2011 | 11:07PM
mainland_refugee wrote:
And he's gotten America back to better relations with counterparts all around the world. The two Bushes were hated by people worldwide.
on November 13,2011 | 06:07AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
How do you host This APEC from The Rose Garden Five Thousand Miles Away? Use Cisco TelePresence. Unless Barry and Michelle were arguing about whether they would go to Chicago or to Hawaii. You mean there is no Change Fee this late into their reservations. Well then we now know President Obama has turned into King Obama. Why all this fuss about barricading The Hawaii Convention Center when even our Main Man was 5,000 Miles Away? LOL, Neil, please get on your Megaphone and tell the cops to go home, Lol.
on November 12,2011 | 02:20PM
wiliki wrote:
When leaders like this can meet, a lot of minor problems in negotiation disappear. Hope this isn't just about trade. We need to encourage the peace that has broken out again in the Middle East.
on November 12,2011 | 04:04AM
Synikal1 wrote:
APEC participants, can you plz hurry with your "work" and leave already. Would like to see local life back to norm. We live on an island away from the mainland and usually have very little push in government influence if any at all. Enjoy this short 15 min. of fame govenor while u can. Knee pads on?
on November 12,2011 | 04:19AM
Kawipoo wrote:
The gov does not need knee pads. Just standing his head comes up to Obama's groin.
on November 12,2011 | 04:55AM
kgolfinghawaii wrote:
Too funny!!!!!
on November 12,2011 | 06:11AM
HD36 wrote:
That's why I never went into politics. Too see grown men sucking up to eachother every day is bad for my nervous system.
on November 12,2011 | 09:35AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Six Foot Two Inches: Obama. Five Foot Two Inches: Abercrombie. The more astonishing comparison is: Six Foot Seven Inches: Mufi. Five Foot Two Inches: Abercrombie. Five Foot Six Inches: Me, Myself and I. Winner and still champion: The voters shall decide. I think round three between Mufi and Neil would go to Mufi, although I have to wonder about Mufi opening his Pandora's Box full of "well" unmentionables, LOL.
on November 12,2011 | 03:56PM
wiliki wrote:
Aren't you glad that when he vacations, that he doesn't stay in Waikiki but is usually over at the Kaneohe Base. Much less hassle for us than him staying in Waikiki....
on November 12,2011 | 03:10PM
kennysmith wrote:
he didn't want to here any of my ideas of how to bring back any job back to the usa or any part of it.
on November 12,2011 | 07:00AM
Kapakahi wrote:

The headline in consistent with the news coverage of this gathering. I watched the HNN coverage the other night and the reporter was just SO excited that so many WORLD LEADERS(!) were in Hawaii! But was absolutely incapable of explaining why APEC might be important. Beyond, of course, the hope SOME well-placed Hawaii businesses (the big hotels) might gain a bit of coin.

The rest of us are just supposed to be EXCITED by the "honor" of being in the proximity of so many rich and powerful people. Maybe the APEC organizers should have arranged a Sunset on the Beach event with a red carpet so we could oogle, applaud and snap photos, craning our necks for a glimpse of our favorite corporate kleptocrat, corrupt bureaucrat or international banker?

Moana Nui and critics of APEC have been holding thoughtful lectures on the negative impacts of the neo-liberal, corporate-led "globalization" model promoted by APEC and the WTO. Those events are "transparent," "open" and without "barriers." The APEC events, appropriately enough, are secretive, exclusive and only open to the elite business and political managers. The scheme to usurp the sovereignty of American citizens and those of the entire Asia Pacific region, placing ultimate power in their own hands, rendering state legislatures even weaker. Yet our legislators kowtow to APEC and celebrate the glory of their arrival?? The commercial media, reporting on the activities of this elite gathering, gush about the celebrities. Maybe they can give us gossip over who is sleeping with whom to distract us further?

on November 12,2011 | 08:01AM
cojef wrote:
Yours is mo betta reading than the SA articles on the APEC. Love the part, gossip sheet, who is sleeping with whom???
on November 12,2011 | 08:40AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
What is cojef ??
on November 12,2011 | 03:48PM
sukebesan wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on November 12,2011 | 08:57AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Hey, now if HSA allows this, then we know that The Right to The Freedom of Speech has not been impeded. LOL. This is family hour so I will not say the more inflammatory one that also starts with "L", for fear of censorship.
on November 12,2011 | 03:50PM
KeithHaugen wrote:
Where is the APEC Waikiki shooter during all of this hoopla? He is on paid leave and free on bail. Did he go back home?
on November 12,2011 | 09:20AM
Denominator wrote:
What you would be happy if he was killed by a drug crazed local kid that thinks he owns the world and can push anybody around when he feels like it? I think we all know there will be a trial and we'll find out what happened. Until then you can sit on your imagination.
on November 12,2011 | 10:15AM
Kauikalewa wrote:
No one wants anyone "going off"! That's the whole problem. Pushy people with guns and weapons think they are "Immortal". Men. So characteristic of testosterone overload. Hate to see how the keiki are living this out next week and there after. There will be more "graveyard" meetings. What you model gets passed on. So stop already!
on November 12,2011 | 01:48PM
Classic_59Chevy wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on November 12,2011 | 12:36PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Again, for the person that "does not know anything about anyone". Who is "she"? Hillary Rodham Clinton? Michelle Obama? Constance Lau? Who? or is it supposed to be Whom? LOL.
on November 12,2011 | 03:52PM
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