U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s final trip abroad to Europe was cancelled on Tuesday with multiple reports saying European officials declined to meet the outgoing U.S. top diplomat.
State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said in a Tuesday statement that Pompeo’s trip was cancelled due to the transition with the incoming Joe Biden administration.
“We are expecting shortly a plan from the incoming administration identifying the career officials who will remain in positions of responsibility on an acting basis until the Senate confirmation process is complete for incoming officials.
As a result, we are cancelling all planned travel this week, including the Secretary’s trip to Europe,” said the statement. The State Department Monday announced Pompeo’s visit to Brussels, Belgium on Wednesday and Thursday.
According to media reports, Pompeo originally planned to visit Luxembourg and Belgium. Reuters said that officials in Luxembourg “showed reluctance to grant him appointments,” and Pompeo’s stop in Brussels would not involve any meeting with the European Union or any public events at NATO. CNN later confirmed that officials in Luxembourg cancelled planned meetings with Pompeo, citing sources from the State Department.
Luxembourg Minister for Foreign Affairs Jean Asselborn last week fiercely condemned U.S. President Donald Trump in an interview with local media after pro-Trump protestors stormed the U.S. Capitol as lawmakers met to certify Biden’s victory on Wednesday. Leaders and senior officials worldwide have all expressed shock at the violent protests.