US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, arrived at France on Saturday to commence a tour that will take him to six other countries in Europe and the Middle East. The tour is bound to be uncomfortable for Pompeo and the leaders of the countries he is visiting since all seven of them have shown their support for US democracy by congratulating President-elect Joe Biden for winning last week’s presidential election.
Pompeo had a meeting with officials of the Institut Montaigne, a Paris-based transpartisan think tank to discuss issues affecting the two countries and the world at large. The Secretary of State posted photos with the officials on his Twitter account. The visit which might be Pompeo’s last official visit to France was scheduled to shore up the leanings of President Donald Trump’s administration.
Pompeo unlike his predecessors will also be visiting the Israeli communities in the West Bank, a landlocked territory in Western Asia. The tour which is expected to last for ten days will start from France and take Pompeo through Turkey, Georgia, Israel, the UAE, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia.
Pompeo like president Trump and a large number of Republicans has refused to accept the results of the presidential election or in any way begin to facilitate a smooth transition of power to Biden and the Vice President-elect, Kamala Harris. The resolve of the administration to keep fighting against the results is bound to make Pompeo’s visit difficult as most of the world leaders have revealed plans to work with Biden.
France recently imposed a second lockdown to fight the second wave of the pandemic in Europe which has made some European countries record hundreds of thousands of daily infections. In the photos, the Secretary of State tweeted, he was not wearing a mask while others had their masks on, AP News reports.
On Monday, the US diplomat is scheduled to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron and Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. One of Macron’s spokesperson had earlier announced that Macron had a phone conversation with Biden on Tuesday and the duo spoke about topics such as climate change, terrorism, and health that Macron hopes Biden will work on with the French authorities.
“For now, I’ll keep working with Mike Pompeo, until January 20…,” Le Drian told reporters on Friday. “He is going to pay us a visit, and we will receive him.”
The minister also stated that Monday’s discussion with Pompeo will be about the tense topic of the situation in Iraq and Iran, the rest of the Middle East, and China. He explained that he will speak against any move to withdraw the US forces from Afghanistan and Iraq.
Turkey, Georgia, Qatar, and Palestine have had a broken work relationship with Trump. It is still unclear whether the Secretary of State will pay a visit to the leaders when he visits each of the countries. When he arrives in Turkey next week, he will not have a meeting with officials of the country according to reports but will only be meeting the religious leaders.
The Palestinian Authorities have also opposed his decision to visit the Israeli settlements in the West Bank saying such an action could give credence to settlements.
Pompeo announced this week that there will be a smooth transition of power for Trump’s second term in office later clarifying that he meant the transition will be smooth whether it’s a second term for Trump or a transfer of power to Biden.