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Harris meets with Singapore officials to begin Asia visit

Kamala Harris Vice President
Posted at 11:43 PM, Aug 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-23 08:38:02-04

Amid a foreign trip to Asia, Vice President Kamala Harris took questions from reporters Monday and was asked about the Biden administration's continued chaotic exit from Afghanistan.

In response, Harris declined to say what she would have done differently as president, instead saying that there would be time for reflection after the evacuation effort.

"There's no question there will be and should be a robust analysis of what has happened, but right now there's no question that our focus has to be on evacuating American citizens, Afghans who worked with us and vulnerable Afghans, including women and children," she said, according to the Associated Press.

Harris delivered her comments Monday alongside Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien. He noted that Singapore was “grateful” for the U.S. efforts to combat terrorism in Afghanistan. He also offered the U.S. the use of the Singapore Air Force’s transport aircraft to help with the evacuation, and said the country is now watching what the U.S. does next.

“What matters is how the U.S. repositions itself in the Asia Pacific, engages the broader region and continues to fight against terrorism, because that will determine the perceptions of the countries of the U.S.′ global priorities and of its strategic intentions,” he said, according to the AP.

The White House on Monday announced a series of new agreements with Singapore aimed at combating cyber threats, tackling climate change, addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and alleviating supply chain issues.

The announcements coincide with Vice President Kamala Harris’ visit to the region, as part of the Biden administration’s efforts to counter Chinese influence there.

Harris is visiting Singapore and Vietnam this week with the goal of strengthening U.S. ties with Southeast Asia.