Kerry cancels stop in Philippines because of storm

From left, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key and Philippine President Benigno Aquino III pose for a group photo at the East Asia Summit in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Brunei (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday that he has canceled a scheduled trip to the Philippines due to the threat posed by tropical storm Nari.

Forecasters say the storm could strike the northern Philippines as a typhoon as early as Friday, bringing strong winds and heavy rains.

Kerry had planned to meet with Philippine officials in Manila on Friday and Saturday. It was to be the last stop in a Southeast Asia tour that began in Indonesia; on Thursday, Kerry flew from Brunei to Malaysia.

Kerry made the announcement as he wrapped up his sessions at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit. Standing alongside Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario, Kerry said he would try to make the trip up in a month or so and reaffirmed the "unbreakable" ties between the U.S. and the Philippines.

During much of Kerry's trip he has been filling in for President Barack Obama, who canceled a planned Asia tour because of the government shutdown gripping Washington.