Nov 22, 2013

    Obama reschedules Asia trip to next year


    UNITED States President Barack Obama will visit Asia in April to push for closer ties, an aide said on Wednesday, after his earlier cancellation of a trip raised questions about US staying power.

    Ms Susan Rice, Mr Obama's national-security adviser, acknowledged the disappointment after the President called off a trip in October, to negotiate with Republican lawmakers who had shut down the US government in a failed bid to stop his health-care reforms.

    Ms Rice said Mr Obama would make up for the cancellation with his trip next year, saying: "Our friends in Asia deserve and will continue to get our highest-level attention."

    She said in an address at Georgetown University: "No matter how many hotspots emerge elsewhere, we will continue to deepen our enduring commitment to this critical region."

    She said US assistance to the typhoon-hit Philippines, which includes the deployment of more than 1,000 Marines, represented a broader pledge to all of Asia.

    "America's commitment won't expire a few months or a few years from now," she said.