On Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo canceled his long-planned trip to Europe last minute.
Pompeo was scheduled to fly out on Tuesday, however, Luxembourg’s foreign minister and several other top European Union officials contacted his office and declined to meet with him.
Pompeo was supposed to meet with his counterpart in Luxembourg before he traveled on to Brussels.
The unusual snub comes on the heels of pro-Trump supporters storming the Capitol in an unprecedented attack on American democracy.
Many world leaders were shocked by the actions that were inspired and urged on by Donald Trump.
Pompeo is a close friend and ally of Donald Trump. He had sought to meet with Jean Asselborn in Luxembourg before he met with EU leaders and the bloc’s top diplomat in Brussels, however, now none of those meetings will take place.
Before the meetings were canceled, Pompeo’s Brussel’s part of the trip did not include meeting with the EU or any public events at NATO.
A diplomatic source says America’s European allies are embarrassed by Pompeo following last Wednesday’s violence.
Luxembourg’s foreign ministry refused to comment on the situation other than to state that the meetings were now off.
Asselborn, the foreign minister, was said to be “appalled” by the scenes coming for the Capitol and the following day referred to Trump as a “criminal” on RTL radio during an interview.
“Mister Trump is a criminal, a political pyromaniac who should be sent to criminal court. He’s a person who was elected democratically but who isn’t interested in democracy in the slightest,” Asselborn said.
“The 6th of January 2021 was a 9/11 attack on democracy itself, and Trump was the one who egged it on,” Asselborn added. He also described Senator Ted Cruz and other Republicans as “Trump’s Poodles.”
Pompeo was scheduled to have a private dinner with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussel’s, as well as meet with Belgian Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmes.
In a statement, the State Department said that the cancellation was due to ongoing work on the transition prior to the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on 20 January.
During past trips, Pompeo has always been treated warmly despite the opposition to almost all of Trump’s foreign policy moves.
It appears that Pompeo is currently working through a final-to-do-list during his last days in office.
Pompeo announced that he will designate Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels as a foreign terrorist organization. It is also likely that he will re-designate Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism; and draw explicit links between al-Qaeda and Iran, rolling out more sanctions against Iranian entities.
A trip to Taiwan by U.S Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft was also called off as a part of the State Department’s cancellation of all travel this week.
Had the trip gone on, Craft would have been the first member of the Trump Administration to meet with Taiwanese officials after Pompeo removed all restrictions on relations between the U.S. and Taiwan last week. China condemned the move. China sees Taiwan as a renegade province that it believes it should control.
Zhao Lijian, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, issued a warning to Pompeo at the time to “stop going further down the wrong and dangerous path” or he would “be harshly punished by history.”