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Kerry Postpones Trip to Philippines Due to Tropical Storm

FILE - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry attends the 1st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) - U.S. Summit in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, Oct. 9, 2013.
A tropical storm has forced U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to postpone his trip to the Philippines, which was to be the last stop on his multi-nation Asian tour.

Kerry had been scheduled to meet with Philippine officials on Friday and Saturday, which is when Tropical Storm Nari is expected to slam into the archipelago nation.

The top U.S. diplomat told reporters Thursday he would try to reschedule the trip in the coming weeks and emphasized what he called the "firm partnership" between Washington and Manila.

Kerry was speaking on the final day of a meeting of Asian leaders in Brunei, where he was filling in for President Barack Obama, who could not attend due to the ongoing fiscal dispute in Washington.

President Obama said his absence will not affect the U.S. role in Asia and insists he is still committed to the new U.S. military and diplomatic focus on the Asia-Pacific region.

Kerry, who has already made stops in Brunei and Indonesia, will now head to Malaysia as the final stop of his Asia tour.