Obama scraps visit due to US shutdown: Malaysia PM

Obama scraps visit due to US shutdown: Malaysia PM

KUALA LUMPUR - President Barack Obama has postponed a visit to Malaysia due to the US government shutdown, Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Wednesday.

Obama was to deliver an address in Malaysia on October 11 as part of a four-country swing through Southeast Asia including international summits in Indonesia and Brunei.

But he will now be replaced by US Secretary of State John Kerry, Najib's office said.

It was not immediately clear whether the budget crisis in Washington would cause the US president to also skip the long-planned annual summit meetings.

During those gatherings, Obama is expected to push for final agreement on an Asia-Pacific trade agreement while underscoring his administration's much-touted renewed economic and security focus on Asia.

A spokeswoman in Najib's office confirmed Malaysian media reports that quoted the premier announcing Obama's visit was off.

"Obama expressed his disappointment that he was unable to visit Malaysia as scheduled," Najib was quoted as saying by the Malaysian Insider news website.

"However, the Secretary of State John Kerry will come... as Obama's representative."

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