COP26: Climate denialist Donald Trump hosts Indonesian president

He may be one of the world’s most notorious climate change denialists, but Donald Trump has at least one reason to be thankful for the COP26 summit taking place in Scotland.

The former US president’s flagship international hotel in South Ayrshire is hosting an international delegation from Indonesia during the conference, The Scotsman can reveal.

Joko Widodo, the Indonesian president, is among a sizeable party staying at Mr Trump’s Turnberry resort in South Ayrshire, located some 50 miles south-west of the conference venue.

Two sources at Turnberry said the Indonesian delegation flew into Glasgow Prestwick Airport from a pre-COP gathering in Rome on Sunday evening, before a convoy of vehicles took them south to Mr Trump’s property.

The delegation, including Mr Widodo, has been travelling back and forth to the summit in Glasgow by car.

It is understood several officials from the Indonesian embassy in London are also at Turnberry, as well as the nation’s finance and foreign affairs ministers.

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One Turnberry resident said the Indonesian flag was seen flying over the hotel on Monday.

Joko Widodo, the Indonesian president, arrives at Trump Turnberry. Picture: Inti

A video uploaded to YouTube by an Indonesian broadcaster captured Mr Widodo arriving at Turnberry in a convoy of black SUVs, flanked by police motorcyclists.

He is then seen entering the hotel lobby, meeting his own officials as well as members of the hotel staff. A large security presence can also be seen inside the historic venue.

Mr Trump’s real estate company, the Trump Organisation, has ties with Indonesia stretching back years.

In 2019, his eldest son, Donald Jr, visited the country to promote two proposed Trump-branded resorts.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson greets Indonesian president Joko Widodo ahead of their bilateral meeting during the COP26 summit on Monday. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/Pool/Getty

The event was held to promote the properties – one in Bali, the other south of Jakarta – which have yet to be built, but which will feature hotels, golf courses and residential units.

The project south of Jakarta has been designated a special economic zone (SEZ) for tourism, which means it can benefit from corporate tax cuts.

Hary Tanoesoedibjo, a billionaire Indonesian property developer, is also involved in the initiative.

Mr Widodo’s administration was also regarded as an ally to Mr Trump during his time in office. Mr Trump described the 60-year-old as a “friend”.

The Indonesian delegation is staying at Donald Trump's Turnberry resort during COP26. Picture: Richard Heathcote/Getty

Turnberry has also hosted an event during COP26 organised by Asia House, a London-based think-tank.

The event, attended by Mr Widodo and several members of his government, included a private briefing involving several of the think-tank’s corporate members.

There is a certain irony in the fact Mr Trump’s hotel is benefiting from the climate summit, given his own controversial stance over the issue.

He infamously pulled the US out of the Paris Agreement, making it the first nation in the world to pull out of the historic accord.

The move inflicted deep damage on global perceptions of the US and its green credentials.

Since arriving in Glasgow, US president Joe Biden has been trying to make amends. On Monday, he apologised to other world leaders for the Trump administration's decision to exit the climate agreement, acknowledging that it had set the country behind in its climate goals.

"I guess I shouldn't apologise, but I do apologise for the fact that the United States, the last administration pulled out of the Paris accord,” Mr Biden said. “It put us sort of behind the eight ball a little bit.”

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