US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo canceled his last official visit to Europe, while Washington’s envoy to the UN canceled a trip to Taiwan, officials said on Tuesday, as President Donald Trump faces an impeachment vote in Congress.
The two-day stay in Europe would have been Pompeo’s last overseas trip as Washington’s top diplomat before Democrat Joe Biden was sworn in on January 20.
The State Department said Pompeo remained in Washington to ensure a “smooth and orderly” transition to the new administration.
U.S. Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft has canceled her planned trip to Taiwan, which was due to start Wednesday, in line with the State Department’s cancellation of overseas trips ahead of the inauguration of Biden, a U.S. official said.
Chinese officials last week voiced strong opposition to Craft’s trip, as Beijing claims Taiwan is an inviolable part of its territory to be reclaimed, by force if necessary, and opposes any diplomatic recognition of it. democratic island.
In Luxembourg, an official told AFP on condition of anonymity that part of Pompeo’s trip was canceled after Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn called Trump a “criminal” in comments on RTL radio .
Asselborn described Trump as a “political arsonist who must be brought to court” after last week’s attack on the U.S. Capitol by his supporters.
The canceled trips close four tumultuous years of foreign policy under Trump that have tested relations with Washington’s traditional allies in Europe.
Pompeo had not planned to meet with senior EU officials during his scheduled visit to Brussels.
He has remained firmly loyal to Trump despite the resignations of a series of cabinet colleagues and calls to force the president out of office following the attack on Capitol Hill.
The House of Representatives is expected to make Trump the first president in U.S. history to be impeached for the second time on Wednesday in his Jan.6 speech in which he claimed to be the true winner in the November election, and then urged supporters to march to Congress.
© 2021 AFP