US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cancelled his Europe trip at the last minute on Tuesday after Luxembourg’s foreign minister and top European Union (EU) officials declined to meet with him, European and US diplomats familiar with the matter said, Reuters reported.
Reuters: Luxembourg, EU do not want to see Pompeo
STEPANAKERT, JANUARY 13, ARTSAKHPRESS: The extraordinary snub of the top US diplomat came days after the storming of the US Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump.
Pompeo had sought to meet Jean Asselborn in Luxembourg, before meeting EU leaders and the bloc’s top diplomat in Brussels, three people close to the planning told Reuters.
But the initial plan to go to Luxembourg, which had not been officially announced, was scrapped after officials there showed reluctance to grant Pompeo appointments, a diplomatic source said. The Brussels leg was still on until the last minute.
But the itinerary of Pompeo’s final visit to Brussels raised questions about the merit of the trip. There were no meetings on his schedule with EU officials or any public events at NATO. A third diplomatic source said allies were “embarrassed” by Pompeo after the violence in Washington last Wednesday that left five dead.
Luxembourg’s foreign ministry confirmed the previously planned stop there was cancelled, but declined to give further details. The EU declined to comment.
In Brussels, Pompeo was due to have a private dinner with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday evening at Stoltenberg’s private residence, before meeting Belgian Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmes, whose country is a NATO ally.