U.S. President Barack Obama cancelled part of his upcoming Asian tour because of the crisis arising from the partial shutdown of the federal government, the White House said Wednesday.
Obama will keep his scheduled stops in Indonesia and Brunei, but he will not travel to Malaysia or The Philippines.
Secretary of State John Kerry will visit Malaysia and The Philippines in the president's place, the White House said.
Obama spoke on Tuesday evening by telephone with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and with Filipino President Benigno Aquino to inform them of the cancellation of his visits.
For now, Obama's Indonesia visit has been unaffected, and there the president will take part in the summit of the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Bali.
In addition to that meeting, Obama will preside at a meeting of the countries who are negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership and will meet with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
After that, Obama will travel to Brunei, where he will hold a bilateral meeting with the sultan, Hassanal Bolkiah, and participate in the East Asia summit.
The activities of the U.S. federal government have been partially paralyzed since midnight on Monday due to Congress' inability to agree on approving funds to finance the government in the new fiscal year.
The more conservative wing of the Republicans in the House of Representatives, mainly members of the so-called Tea Party, are seeking to link their approval of that financing to delays in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Obama's signature domestic initiative. EFE