Neither side has said much in advance about US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s low-key visit to Paris, the starting point for a seven-country tour of Europe and the Middle East.
Macron’s office described Pompeo’s scheduled stop on Monday at the presidential Elysee Palace as a “courtesy” visit. No press conference was scheduled, apparently ruling out the likelihood of journalists questioning Pompeo or Macron about their conflicting views of the US election outcome.
Pompeo did not accept Trump’s electoral defeat. Macron has already spoken by phone to Biden to congratulate him.
Pompeo’s trip aims to bolster the priorities of the outgoing Trump administration. From Paris he was to go to Turkey. The trip will also include visits to Israeli settlements in the West Bank that were avoided by former secretaries of state.
Before the planned meetings with Macron and his Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pompeo placed a bouquet of red, white and blue flowers on a memorial to the victims of terrorism in a Parisian monument, the Hôtel des Invalides.
The ceremony lasted about a minute.