Obama cancels trips to Indonesia, Brunei

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Obama shutdownPresident Barack Obama canceled plans to attend summits in Indonesia and Brunei on October 10 due to the continued US government shutdown. The US president has already cancelled planned trips to Malaysia and the Philippines for that reason.

The decision means Obama will no longer depart on October 5 for what had originally been a four-nation, week-long Asia trip. The move to cancel the remaining stops in Indonesia and Brunei, where two summits critical to US interests in Asia are being held, was made on the third day of the US government shutdown and was a sign that it could linger for days, as Obama and Republicans battle over funding.

“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.

It could have been damaging for Obama in terms of appearance to leave the US and to be seen rubbing shoulders with foreign leaders abroad at a time of budget crisis in Washington.

The stalemate has idled hundreds of thousands of federal government workers and comes two weeks before Washington faces an even more crucial deadline – raising the US debt limit so the US can pay its bills. A bitter debate rages over that issue as well.

Secretary of State John Kerry will lead delegations to both countries in place of Obama. The president had been scheduled to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Bali, Indonesia, and a separate Asia security summit in Brunei.

Obama phoned both President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and the Sultan of Brunei to inform them of his decision, the White House said.

The prolonged US shutdown is likely to have an impact and travel and trade between the US and ASEAN countries, especially in terms of food exports and tourism. There are also delayed payments by US government agencies to expect.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

President Barack Obama canceled plans to attend summits in Indonesia and Brunei on October 10 due to the continued US government shutdown. The US president has already cancelled planned trips to Malaysia and the Philippines for that reason.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Obama shutdownPresident Barack Obama canceled plans to attend summits in Indonesia and Brunei on October 10 due to the continued US government shutdown. The US president has already cancelled planned trips to Malaysia and the Philippines for that reason.

The decision means Obama will no longer depart on October 5 for what had originally been a four-nation, week-long Asia trip. The move to cancel the remaining stops in Indonesia and Brunei, where two summits critical to US interests in Asia are being held, was made on the third day of the US government shutdown and was a sign that it could linger for days, as Obama and Republicans battle over funding.

“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.

It could have been damaging for Obama in terms of appearance to leave the US and to be seen rubbing shoulders with foreign leaders abroad at a time of budget crisis in Washington.

The stalemate has idled hundreds of thousands of federal government workers and comes two weeks before Washington faces an even more crucial deadline – raising the US debt limit so the US can pay its bills. A bitter debate rages over that issue as well.

Secretary of State John Kerry will lead delegations to both countries in place of Obama. The president had been scheduled to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Bali, Indonesia, and a separate Asia security summit in Brunei.

Obama phoned both President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and the Sultan of Brunei to inform them of his decision, the White House said.

The prolonged US shutdown is likely to have an impact and travel and trade between the US and ASEAN countries, especially in terms of food exports and tourism. There are also delayed payments by US government agencies to expect.

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