President Obama Cancels Trip to Asia, Blames Republicans

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Washington, DC – President Barack Obama has cancelled his trip to Asia due to the ongoing government shutdown, White House press secretary Jay Carney announced on Thursday evening.

“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,” Carney said.

Obama had been set to leave Washington this weekend to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Bali, Indonesia, and the East Asia Summit in Darussalam, Brunei. Secretary of State John Kerry will take his place at both summits.

“Due to the government shutdown, President Obama’s travel to Indonesia and Brunei has been cancelled,” Carney said. The White House had already announced that Obama would not be visiting Malaysia and the Philippines, the final two stops on what was scheduled to be a four-country trip.

Placing blame for the ongoing shutdown on Republicans, Carney continued, “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 US exports and advance US leadership and interests in the largest emerging region in the world.”

Later in the night, President Obama called both the Sultan of Brunei and the President of Indonesia to express his appreciation for their strong leadership in the region and regretted that the ongoing government shutdown in the US was preventing him from attending the ASEAN, EAS and APEC summits.

“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,” added Carney in his statement. 

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