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Barack Obama cancels Asia trip

world Updated: Mar 20, 2010 01:12 IST
Matt Spetalnick

Bowing to political pressure at home, President Barack Obama on Thursday scrapped his trip to Indonesia and Australia next week to stay in Washington for a final push for a healthcare overhaul.

The rare cancellation of a presidential trip abroad underscored how Obama’s political challenges at home have begun complicating his life overseas, stirring debate on whether he may have to scale back some of his foreign policy goals.

Obama had intended to use the March 21-26 trip to deepen US ties in the Asia-Pacific region in the face of rising Chinese influence. But his travel plans drew criticism from fellow Democrats worried he would be absent for Sunday’s vote on healthcare.