US commitment to Asia strong despite Washington crisis: Kerry

US commitment to Asia strong despite Washington crisis: Kerry
US Secretary of State John Kerry (C) talks with Robert Wang (R), the US Deputy Chief of Mission in China, during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ministerial meeting in Nusa Dua, Bali.

NUSA DUA, Indonesia - Secretary of State John Kerry insisted Saturday that the United States' commitment to Asia was as strong as ever after President Barack Obama cancelled a trip to the region due to the US government shutdown.

"Let me be clear, none of what is happening (in Washington) diminishes one iota our commitment to our partners in Asia," Kerry told journalists at the Asia- Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Indonesia's Bali island.

Obama had been due to attend the forum and the East Asia summit in Brunei next week as part of a tour designed to advance the much-vaunted US "pivot" to Asia.

But late Thursday the White House announced that he was cancelling his attendance at both key meetings due to the first US government shutdown in 17 years.

The president had already cancelled plans to visit Malaysia and the Philippines.

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