President Barack Obama canceled a key trip to Asia scheduled to begin this weekend due to the lingering government shutdown, the White House confirmed late Thursday.
A White House statement said Obama scrapped travel plans for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference on the Indonesian island of Bali, and then to Brunei for the Southeast Asian Nations summit, according to The Associated Press.
"Due to the government shutdown, President Obama's travel to Indonesia and Brunei has been canceled," the statement said.
"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," White House press secretary Jay Carney said in a statement.
Secretary of State John Kerry will lead the U.S. delegation to both Bali and to Brunei in place of Obama, the statement said, AFP reported.
The purpose of the trip is to further U.S. interests in the rapidly developing region of Asia, White House officials said.
The president had originally scheduled a weeklong trip to four nations. He canceled part of the trip — to Malaysia and the Philippines — earlier this week, administration officials said.