Monday, 25 Oct 2021 - 19 of Heshvan, 5782
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Mike Pompeo cancels visit to Brussels at last minute, stays in Washington ‘to ensure smooth transition to a new administration’

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According to press agencies reports, Pompeo first scrapped the Luxembourg part of the trip after the country’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn branded U.S. President Donald Trump a “criminal.”

US State Secretary Mike Pompeo has cancelled  at last minute a visit to Brussels scheduled on Wednesday which was supposed to be his last trip abroad in the office before the new Biden administration comes to office on January 20.

In a statement, the State Department said the two-day visit has been scrapped so that Pompeo could stay in the US to ensure a “smooth and orderly” transition to a new 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,” the statement said.

During his visit, Pompeo was to meet with NATO and Belgian officials. Meeting with EU officials was not mentioned.

According to press agencies reports, Pompeo first scrapped the Luxembourg part of the trip after the country’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn branded U.S. President Donald Trump a “criminal.”

In an interview with RTL radio, Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn called Trump a “political pyromaniac who must be brought before a court” over the recent unrest at the US Capitol.

According to Politico, ‘’a  confrontation between Pompeo and Asselborn could have been all the more embarrassing given that one of the main areas of compensation between Washington and Luxembourg in recent years has been on the issue of reparations for assets stolen from Luxembourg’s Jewish community during the Holocaust.’’

‘’Neo-Nazi sympathizers and anti-Semitism featured prominently in the pro-Trump mob at the Capitol, including one rioter wearing a “Camp Auschwitz” shirt and others bearing the slogan “6MWE,” meaning “six million wasn’t enough” — a reference to Jewish Holocaust victims,’’ wrote Politico.

Pompeo also subsequently cancelled the rest of the trip.

Politico.eu quoted ‘’officials’’  saying that Pompeo abandoned the trip ‘’because European officials balked at seeing him after last week’s deadly riot by Trump supporters at the U.S. Capitol.’’

On Tuesday, before the State Department announced the cancellation, the European Commission said that no EU official would meet Pompeo. A spokesman declined to elaborate further on the reasons or decision-making process.

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