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Pompeo cancels European tour after Luxembourg snub

The planned stop in Luxembourg had not been announced by the State Department, which on Monday announced that the top US diplomat would take his final trip abroad to Brussels. Less than 24 hours later, they said the trip was off.

Foreign Ministry sources told CNN that officials in Luxembourg canceled scheduled meetings with Pompeo ahead of Monday’s travel announcement, but that the trip as a whole did not turn out as Pompeo and his team had imagined, especially given the criticism leveled by President Donald Trump to world leaders after the Capitol invasion.

Luxembourg’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs declined to comment. Reuters first reported that officials in Luxembourg had canceled scheduled meetings with Pompeo.

According to Monday̵

7;s announcement, Pompeo was to meet with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmès, both of whom also condemned the deadly attack.

“Shocking scenes in Washington, DC The result of this democratic election must be respected,” Stoltenberg said on Twitter on the day of the uprising.

A NATO spokesman told CNN that Pompeo called Stoltenberg earlier Tuesday to inform him of the cancellation of the trip.

Wilmès said in a BBC interview last week that she was “sorry” that Trump took so much time to reassure people as the situation developed and that he went on to claim that the election was fraudulent.

And Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister and European Affairs Jean Asselborn had sharp words for the US president in the wake of the attack he and his allies called for.

In an interview with RTL last Thursday, he called Trump “a political pyromaniac to be brought before a criminal court” and an instigator of a “9/11 against democracy.”

“There is not a whole lot you can do as Secretary of State when there are only days left, the president is accused and the world follows with horror,” said a foreign minister familiar with the planning and cancellation of the trip. .

A former top ministry official said they were happy the trip was canceled after Trump called for protests last week and that they expect US relations with European nations to be quickly picked up by the upcoming Biden team.

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“They are in the dying days of the Trump administration. I am glad they did,” John Heffern, the former deputy foreign minister for European and Eurasian affairs, said of the canceled meetings. “I do not think it is a long-term problem at all. Hopefully we will never have a foreign minister like this or a president like this or a relationship like this with Europe again.”

Foreign Ministry spokesman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement on Tuesday that the trip was canceled due to the need to work on the Biden crossing.

“We are expecting soon a plan from the incoming administration that identifies the career authorities who remain in positions of responsibility on a functioning basis until the Senate confirmation process is completed for incoming officials,” Ortagus said. “As a result, we are canceling all planned trips this week, including the Secretary’s trip to Europe.”

However, two officials familiar with the transition said there was no need to cancel the trip to facilitate a smooth transition.

As part of the cancellation of “all planned trips”, US Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Crafts trip to Taiwan was also canceled.

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