US President Barack Obama has cancelled planned stops in the Philippines and Malaysia in his upcoming trip to Asia, due to the government shutdown at home, the White House said on Wednesday.
Obama spoke by phone Tuesday night with the Philippines' President Benigno S Aquino III and Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak about having to cancel his visits to the two southeast Asian countries during his planned trip to Asia, citing the ongoing government shutdown, the White House said in a statement.
In his call to Aquino, Obama reaffirmed the US's "strong alliance" with the Philippines and respect for Aquino's leadership, while pledging to visit the Philippines later in his term.
"He also noted our shared commitment to the security of the Philippines, and the broader security and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region, and told the president that Secretary (of State John) Kerry would travel to Manila in his place," the statement said.
Speaking with Najib, Obama reaffirmed the US's "close partnership" with Malaysia and respect for Najib's leadership, and promised to visit Malaysia later in his term.
Obama welcomed Malaysia's strong leadership of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, adding that Kerry would lead a US delegation to Kuala Lumpur, which includes Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and US Trade Representative Michael Froman, the statement added.