Pompeo cancels last diplomatic trip as Biden team prepares to take over

U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, speaks at a news conference while U.S. President Donald Trump looks on following his second summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on February 28, 2019 in Hanoi, Vietnam.Tuan Mark | Getty ImagesWASHINGTON – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo canceled a diplomatic trip to Europe in order to continue working with President-elect Joe Biden’s team on a “smooth and orderly transition process,” the State department announced Tuesday.Pompeo was slated to travel to Belgium on Wednesday to meet with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and Belgian deputy prime minister Sophie Wilmes. Stoltenberg and Wilmes, along with a slew of world leaders, publicly described the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol as “shocking.”The trip later this week, which would have been Pompeo’s last diplomatic mission, included a stop in Luxembourg, according to a Reuters report. However, the entire trip was reportedly canceled when officials from Luxembourg and the European Union refused to meet with Pompeo.The State department did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.”We are fully committed to the completion of a smooth and orderly transition process to be finalized over the next 8 days. Both the Department and the President-elect’s team have been fully engaged for several weeks toward this end, and we are pleased with the level of cooperation and professionalism that has been displayed,” State spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus wrote in a statement Tuesday announcing the change in Pompeo’s schedule.Antony Blinken, Biden’s pick to lead the State department, is expected to provide Pompeo’s team with a list of career officials that will temporarily remain in acting positions until the Senate confirmation process is complete.Secretary of State nominee Antony Blinken speaks after being introduced by President-elect Joe Biden as he introduces key foreign policy and national security nominees and appointments at the Queen Theatre on November 24, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware.Mark Makela | Getty ImagesLast week, Pompeo confirmed in a tweet that he met with Blinken and called the meeting “very productive.”It was not immediately clear if the two discussed the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol, which occurred just two days prior.

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