Obama cancels Asia trip amid US shutdown
United States President Barack Obama is not coming to Asia next week after all.
Mr Obama telephoned Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah to inform them of his decision on Friday morning and to express his regrets at not being able to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) leaders' meeting in Bali as well as the US-Asean Summit and the East Asia Summit in Brunei due to the ongoing US government shutdown.
"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 in a statement.
Secretary of State John Kerry, who arrives in Bali today, will lead the US delegations to both countries in place of Mr Obama.