The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday cancelled his visit to Europe as the Foreign Minister of a tiny country, Luxembourg, Jean Asselborn refused to meet him. He was also supposed to make a trip to Belgium’s capital Brussels where he was expecting to meet top European Union officials.
This was for the first time that Pompeo was planning to make a foreign trip after the January 6 ‘insurrection’ in Capitol Hill, Washington DC. After Asselborn the European Union officials also declined to give appointment to him on the plea that there were no meetings on his schedule with EU officials or any public events at NATO.
It needs to be mentioned that a day after the violence Asselborn was quoted on RTL Radio as calling President Trump a ‘criminal’ and a ‘political pyromaniac’. On the other hand, the US State Department said that the trip to Europe had been cancelled because of the engagement related to the transfer of power to the Joe Biden Administration.
Diplomatic circles in Europe are of the view that the State Department excuse for the cancellation of the trip has no merit as it was very well known beforehand that Joe Biden was going to take-over on January 20.
The abrupt end to Pompeo’s final visit to Europe has come as a great embarrassment to the outgoing Trump Administration. Though Pompeo had condemned the January 6 incident he had not criticized the role President Trump played in inciting the mob. Instead, he has been quite active on the foreign policy front since then, for example, once again putting Cuba in the blacklist of the countries sponsoring terrorism.