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Malaysia says Obama cancels visit due to shutdown

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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia >> President Barack Obama has canceled a planned visit to Malaysia next week because of the partial U.S. government shutdown, Malaysia’s leader said Wednesday.

Obama is scheduled to leave Saturday night for what was originally a four-nation tour that also includes Indonesia, Brunei and the Philippines. The trip is part of Obama’s broader focus on boosting U.S. economic ties with Asia.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said Obama called to inform him that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will represent the president to address an entrepreneurship conference in Kuala Lumpur on Oct. 11.

Obama was to have been the first U.S. president to visit Malaysia since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1966.

Obama twice canceled trips to Asia in 2010, once to stay in Washington for votes on his health care law, and once because of an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The shutdown took effect Tuesday after Congress missed its deadline to fund the government.

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