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US President delays visit to Indonesia, again.
United States President Barack Obama has postponed a trip to Australia and Indonesia, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said early Friday, giving no explanation, according to an AFP report.
The move comes as the president's agenda is increasingly dominated by the giant oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, amid successive failures by energy giant BP to plug it.
"President Obama expressed his deep regret that he has to postpone his trip to Asia that was scheduled for later this month," Gibbs said in a statement. "The president looked forward to rescheduling so that he can visit both countries soon."
In a report from Bloomberg News, the White House press secretary Robert GibbsObama was quoted as saying that Obama expressed “his deep regret” for postponing the trip and said he hoped the visits could be rescheduled soon,” in conversations with Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
Obama originally planned to visit the two countries in March. That trip was postponed to later this month so he could be in Washington as Congress debated health-care legislation.
“The President explained the challenge represented by the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill,” a spokesperson for Rudd said in an e-mailed statement from the Australian capital of Canberra. “The President indicated that he remained keen to visit Australia.”
Obama today will travel to Louisiana for an in-person update on the government response to the oil spill, his third trip to the Gulf Coast since the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded on April 20. The blast killed 11 people and triggered leaks that a government panel has said spew an estimated 12,000 to 19,000 barrels of oil a day into the Gulf of Mexico.
As originally scheduled in March, the president’s trip was to include Obama’s second address on U.S. relations with the Muslim world during the visit to Indonesia, the world’s most- populous Muslim country and where Obama spent part of his childhood. The president’s family was also to visit Bali.
In Australia, Obama was scheduled to meet with Rudd and address the nation’s parliament. At the start of the trip, Obama was to stop in Guam and address U.S. troops.