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Kerry relays Obama's regrets at APEC conference in Indonesia

Oct. 5, 2013 at 1:03 PM   |   Comments

BALI, Indonesia, Oct. 5 (UPI) -- Secretary of State John Kerry said Saturday the U.S. government shutdown due to "political silliness" put's the nation's global reputation is at risk.

Kerry filled in for President Barack Obama at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference in Indonesia this weekend, and told attendees while the government shutdown was a temporary phenomenon, it could have a longer effect on the world's views of the United States.

Kerry stressed he did not think the impact of the shutdown would be long-lasting unless the stalemate in Washington persisted for an extended period, Voice of America said.

"As the world takes stock of who stands for what, and who's fighting for what and who's pushing what values, I believe the United States still stands tall," Kerry said. "When we get this moment of political silliness behind us, we will be back on a track that the world will respect and want to be part of."

International analysts have expressed concern that U.S. relations with Asia were being gradually pushed to the back burner by the partisan divisions in Washington, The New York Times said. The result could be increasing fears in some Asian nations that the United States would not have their back, particularly in regards to China's policies toward disputed islands and seas.

Obama's abrupt cancellation of his Asia trip also applied to stops in Malaysia and the Philippines.

Kerry told The Washington Post on the sidelines of the APEC conferences Republicans should "think long and hard about the message that we send to the world when we can't get our own act together."

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