WASHINGTON, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- The White House said Thursday President Obama's trip to Asia has been canceled because of the federal government shutdown.
"Due to the government shutdown, President Obama's travel to Indonesia and Brunei has been canceled," White House press secretary Jay Carney said in a statement. "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 Secretary of State John Kerry will lead delegations to both countries in place of Obama.
"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 U.S. exports and advance U.S. leadership and interests in the largest emerging region in the world. 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," Carney said.
Obama called Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and the sultan of Brunei to express his regret and reaffirm the importance of their respective countries' relationships with the United States.