US shutdown crisis: Barack Obama curtails 4-nation Asia trip

The President, however, will continue with the trip to Indonesia and Brunei.

Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha

Washington: Barack Obama’s four-nation Asia trip had to bear the brunt of government shutdown, as the President would not be travelling to Malaysia and the Philippines now.

The President, however, will continue with the trip to Indonesia and Brunei.

The White House said in a statement that it was "logistically” not possible to retain Malaysian and Philippine trip on Obama’s agenda after the shutdown.

"Because they are on the back end of the president`s upcoming trip, our personnel was not yet in place and we were not able to go forward with planning," the White House statement said.

The four-nation trip by the President was scheduled to start this Saturday with Obama visiting Bali first for an Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (Apec) summit and Brunei for the East Asia summit later.

The trip was to conclude with Malaysia and the Philippines but the White House said that those trips could be rescheduled and the President will look forward to visit those countries later.

The President shortening his Asia trip is one of the consequences of the government shutdown which has already sent over 8 lakh federal employees on unpaid leave and disrupted all non-essential services, including the closure of national parks, museums and the monuments.

Obama would be returning from the two-nation trip just days before October 17, when the US risks defaulting on its debts if the public debt ceiling is not raised.

The shutdown began on Monday midnight after the US Congress failed to solve the impasse over the budget because of the rift between the Republicans and the Democrats over Obamacare.

The President accuses the Republicans of causing the shutdown and keeping the government hostage over its demand of delaying the healthcare bill.