Mount Merapi's eruptions make Obama's visit to Indonesia shorter

42285.jpegPresident Obama will probably cut short his one-day Indonesia visit because volcanic ash is complicating air travel in the region, aides said as Air Force One arrived here Tuesday.

The change would be just the latest of several disruptions in the president's trip to the country where he lived for a while as a child.

The Tuesday arrival comes after two cancellations earlier in the year, first because of a congressional vote on the president's healthcare plan and then because of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Los Angeles Times reports.

White House Press Secretary Roberts Gibbs told reporters on a flight from New Delhi to Jakarta on Tuesday that the President's departure might be moved up by a few hours due to the ash cloud that could impact air traffic.

U.S. officials said they hope to keep Obama's planned speech at the University of Indonesia on Wednesday.

"My sense is, our hope is, that while we may have to truncate some of the morning we can still get the speech in," Gibbs said.

Obama and the First Lady arrived late afternoon on Tuesday and were greeted by several dignitaries. Obama then met with the Indonesian president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

He's also scheduled to visit the Istiqlal Mosque-the largest in Southeast Asia.

At a news conference Obama said Indonesia "has changed completely" since he lived there as a child. He said "It's wonderful to be here," and wished he could stay longer, New York Daily News reports.


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