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Could Indonesia’s President Become the Middle East’s New Mediator?

The leader of the world’s biggest Muslim country is offering to ease relations between longtime rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Over the past week, Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has been busy not only staring down the terrorists who brought bloodshed to the streets the capital Jakarta, but also trying to save the world. Or at least that is the suggestion of a pair of photos in the pages of Indonesia’s Kompasdaily on Tuesday, showing Jokowi’s top envoy visiting the Middle East’s sparring rivals, Iran and Saudi Arabia.

One image shows Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi in a hijab — unusual for her — meetingwith Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran on Jan. 13 to deliver a letter from Jokowi. In the second picture, taken five days later, Retno, again opting to cover her short hair with a scarf, sat down with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud in Riyadh, also to deliver a written message from the Indonesian leader.

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