ALERT – Obama Postpones Indonesia Trip Again


President Barack Obama has postponed a trip to Indonesia and Australia, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said early on Friday, as the oil spill in the Gulf dominates the president’s agenda.

“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 looks forward to rescheduling so that he can visit both countries soon.”

Gibbs gave no explanation for the postponement in announcing the move — which marks the second time the president’s trip to Indonesia has been postponed.

But it followed speculation that Obama would stay home to deal with the unchecked environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, where energy giant BP has failed in successive attempts to cap its leaking Deepwater Horizon well.

Although the White House had not yet released an official itinerary for the trip, Obama had been expected to depart late next week to Indonesia and Australia.

He postponed a trip to Indonesia in March after it came into conflict with his successful push for healthcare reform.

Obama spent four years as a child in Indonesia and the trip was seen as part of an effort to highlight US engagement with the highly dynamic Asia-Pacific region.

Gibbs said Obama spoke with both President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Australia’s Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to inform them of the latest postponement.

“President Obama underscored his commitment to our close alliance with Australia and our deepening partnership with Indonesia,” Gibbs said. “He plans to hold full bilateral meetings with Prime Minister Rudd and President Yudhoyono on the margins of the G-20 meeting in Canada.”

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