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Expected typhoon forces John Kerry to cancel Philippines visit

Oct. 10, 2013 at 9:24 AM

MANILA, Oct. 10 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry canceled his visit to the Philippines because of a looming typhoon, the Philippine government said Thursday.

Abigail Valte, the Philippines deputy presidential spokeswoman, said in a statement Kerry's visit "will be rescheduled anytime before the end of the year in view of the expected typhoon," The Wall Street Journal reported.

A U.S. State Department official confirmed the cancellation but didn't offer a new date for Kerry's visit.

Tropical Storm Nari is forecast to hit Manila Saturday as a typhoon, coinciding with Kerry's two-day visit that was to begin Friday. Kerry has been filling in for President Obama at several conferences in the Southeast Asian region after Obama canceled his overseas travel because of the partial government shutdown.

In Manila, Kerry was expected to discuss trade and security issues with Philippines Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and President Benigno Aquino, the statement added.

Philippine Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez said the advice to cancel Kerry's trip was from the U.S. Air Force.

"Secretary Kerry committed to President Benigno S. Aquino III that he would visit Manila before the year ends," Hernandez said.

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