Obama cancels Asia trip over U.S. government shutdown

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The White House said it was "logistically... not possible" to go ahead with the trips to Malaysia and the Philippines at the end of his tour.
President Obama has cancelled plans to attend Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) summit because of the US government shutdown in Washington.

U.S. President Obama has canceled a trip to Asia that was set to begin this weekend, because of the ongoing government shutdown in Washington, the White House announced late Thursday.
The White House said in a written statement on Thursday night that Obama had scrapped travel to Bali and a subsequent trip to nearby Brunei for the East Asia Summit.
"Due to the government shut-down, President Obama\’s travel to Indonesia and Brunei has been cancelled," the statement read.
"The President made this decision based on the difficulty in moving forward with foreign travel in the face of a shutdown, and his determination to continue pressing his case that Republicans should immediately allow a vote to reopen the government."
The White House said Obama had phoned Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, president of Indonesia, on Thursday night to tell him he could not attend.
"He expressed his regret that the ongoing government shutdown in the United States will prevent him from attending the summit," the statement read.
The White House said Obama reaffirmed the importance of the US-Indonesia partnership, and his personal affection for the people of Indonesia, where he spent several years as a student after his mother and step-father moved to the Asia-Pacific country.
The White House said Secretary of State John Kerry will lead U.S. delegations to both countries, as well as to Malaysia and the Philippines. Kerry will attend the APEC summit in Bali in place of President Obama.
Obama had planned to leave on Saturday for what had originally been a four-nation, week-long Asia trip.
He had cancelled visits to Malaysia and the Philippines earlier this week because of his budget struggle with Republicans in Congress.
Source: Agencies

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