President Barack Obama has canceled the remaining stops on his planned weeklong trip to Asia, citing the ongoing
government shutdown that will enter its fourth day on Friday.
On Wednesday morning, Obama canceled the latter two of his planned four stops to Malaysia and the Philippines. On Thursday night, he canceled the entire trip, including the first two to Indonesia and Brunei.
In a statement, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney blamed House Republicans for the cancellation:
Due to the government shut-down, President Obama’s travel to Indonesia and Brunei has been cancelled. 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. Secretary Kerry will lead delegations to both countries in place of the President.
The cancellation of this trip is another consequence of the House Republicans forcing a shutdown of the government. This completely avoidable shutdown is setting back our ability to create jobs through promotion of U.S. exports and advance U.S. leadership and interests in the largest emerging region in the world. The President looks forward to continuing his work with our allies and partners in the Asia-Pacific and to returning to the region at a later date.
The White House said that Obama called President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia and the Sultan of Brunei to personally inform them of the cancellation. Secretary of State John Kerry will visit the region in Obama’s place.
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