TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- The President of the United States Donald Trump left the Philippines a few hours earlier than planned on Tuesday, November 14 and skipped an important plenary session of the East Asia Summit (EAS).
When asked about Trump's whereabouts, the US embassy in the Philippines said in a statement,"The ASEAN meeting schedule for the day was delayed which is why the President left early," Rappler reported.
"In order for the President to maintain his departure schedule, he had to leave before the plenary session. He was able to present remarks during the lunch," said, Molly Koscina, spokesperson of US embassy to the Philippines spokesperson.
Before leaving the Philippines, Trump briefly met with the 18 other world leaders ahead of the start of the East Asia Summit, then skipped the event and boarded the Air Force One back to the US.
Despite the early departure, the US president said the tour was a 'tremendous success' and that his trip had seen progress in the goal of narrowing America's yawning trade deficits.
The EAS is viewed as one of the most important meetings as it focuses on regional security. Due to his early departure, Trump also missed the preceding group photo with his fellow leaders.