Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Instead of Obama, US Secretary of State John Kerry to visit Manila, Palace says

From InterAksyon (Oct 8): Instead of Obama, US Secretary of State John Kerry to visit Manila, Palace says

United States Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to visit the Philippines, a presidential spokesperson said on Tuesday, days after President Barack Obama was prompted to cancel his trip to Manila due to the US government shutdown.

MalacaƱang is now preparing for Kerry's visit later this week, Deputy Presidential spokeswoman Abigail Valte told reporters in a daily press briefing.

“The secretary of state is attending in the stead of the US President, and coordination continues among the agencies who are involved in the visit,” she said.

Obama was supposed to be in Manila on October 11 to 12 upon the invitation of Mr. Aquino to discuss US-Philippine relations.

The US chief executive has cancelled his trip due to the shutdown of the US government which is now on its eight day since October 1.

"And I understand that President Obama has told President Aquino that: ‘please tell Secretary Kerry as well and I am quite sure that it will reach him’. So the President will also discuss some concerns that we have with Secretary Kerry," Valte said.

Besides the Philippines, Mr. Obama earlier also called off his trip to Malaysia so that he could better deal with the government shutdown, which transpired after the US Congress failed to reach a compromise on the health care reform.


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