Statement by Deputy Press Secretary Speakes on the Postponement of the President's Visits to the Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand

October 3, 1983

President Reagan has most reluctantly and with regret decided to postpone visits planned for this November to the Republic of the Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand.

On Friday, September 30, Deputy Chief of Staff and Assistant to the President Michael K. Deaver departed Washington to visit each of the countries to express the President's regret and to deliver personal messages from the President to the heads of state of the three countries explaining the need for postponement. These discussions have now been completed.

In view of the fact that Congress will be in session, that key appropriations bills have not yet been enacted, and that a continuing resolution has been enacted but will expire November 10, it is clear that the first 2 weeks in November will be particularly demanding legislative weeks.

The President made the decision to postpone this portion of his planned trip after a careful review of the planned 17-day itinerary and an assessment of legislative issues with which he must deal.

Our relations with the Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand are excellent, and we expect them to remain so. The President is disappointed that his original plans had to be changed, but this fact does not alter in any way the fundamental, positive relationship between the United States and the ASEAN countries.

The President still plans to visit Japan and the Republic of Korea in November.

Note: Deputy Press Secretary Larry M. Speakes read the statement during his daily briefing for reporters, which began at 2:20 p.m. in the Briefing Room at the White House.