U.S.- Mike Pompeo He canceled his last trip abroad as head of US diplomacy, scheduled for this Tuesday, January 12, in Belgium. The Secretary of State, one of the most loyal members of the Cabinet of Donald Trump, decided to stay in Washington to facilitate a “smooth and orderly transition” with the president-elect team Joe Biden, according to a statement from the State Department.
Pompeo was going to travel to Brussels to meet his Belgian counterpart, Sophie Wilmès, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. The purpose of his trip was, among others, “to underscore the enduring importance of the transatlantic partnership,” often criticized by President Trump in the past four years. The press release specified that the decision referred to all officials reporting to the State Department.
The ambassador to the United Nations, Kelly Craft, did the same with a trip to Taiwan, at a time when the Republican president is threatened by a possible indictment in Congress after the assault on January 6 that occurred after an inciting rally where he reiterated his unfounded allegations of electoral fraud. Pompeo, for his part, condemned the violence but never distanced himself from the president.
The head of US diplomacy first met with Antony Blinken, nominated by President-elect Joe Biden to be the next secretary of state. The meeting was held “in order to facilitate an orderly transition and to ensure that the interests of the United States are safeguarded abroad,” said a State Department official.
Blinken is an old adviser to Biden, with moderate manners, who is expected to change the course of US diplomacy on several key Pompeo fronts, such as Iran, Cuba or disdain for multilateral institutions. He had already served as an undersecretary of state under President Barack Obama. He visited the State Department last month, but Pompeo was under quarantine for exposure to COVID-19.