The U.S Vice President Kamala Harris is set to depart Singapore on Tuesday, more than two hours later than originally scheduled after an unspecified delay.
The reporters would be briefed on the reason for the delay on their way to the airport following a planned 6:30 p.m. local time departure from the hotel, according to a White House official.
Harris had been scheduled to depart Singapore for Vietnam, the second leg of a trip to Southeast Asia, at 4 p.m. local time. Reporters traveling with the vice president were abruptly sent back to the Shangri-La hotel shortly after 3:30 p.m. local time after being loaded into vans for the planned departure from Paya Lebar Air Base.
While presidential and vice presidential trips can often run behind schedule, a delay of this type is unusual.
The vice president has so far used the trip to emphasize the U.S. commitment to the region and to warn about the threat China poses, particularly regarding territorial disputes.
But the timing of the visit overseas has left Harris defending President Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan. On Tuesday, she called the move “courageous and right,” while saying the U.S. was “laser-focused” on evacuating U.S. citizens and vulnerable Afghans.
Neither the U.S. embassy in Singapore nor Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs immediately responded to requests for comment about the delay.