Obama Skips APEC, and Putin Meeting, Over Budget Crisis

U.S. President Obama is not traveling abroad before he solves the country's budget crisis, says the White House. John Althouse Cohen

U.S. President Barack Obama will not meet with President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, or APEC, summit in Indonesia on Monday, having canceled his attendance in light of the looming U.S. budget crisis.

The White House said Thursday that the president would not travel overseas while the government shutdown was still in place. Instead, Obama will be working with Republican lawmakers toward drafting a budget plan that could put an end to the country's political impasse and allow government bodies to resume normal operations.

"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," the White House's website said.

Obama was expected to depart Saturday on a tour spanning Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Indonesia, concluding with the APEC summit.

The Kremlin had extended an invitation for Obama to meet Putin on the sidelines of the APEC summit to discuss Syria, among other topics, a Putin aide said Thursday.

On Wednesday, the White House announced Obama would cancel his visits to Malaysia and the Philippines, saying the final decision regarding his stops in Brunei and Indonesia would be made at a later date.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will replace Obama as the head of the country's delegation to all four destinations, the White House said. It is unclear whether Kerry will take Obama's place to allow a U.S.- Russian dialogue on Syria to go ahead.

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