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China Daily Global / 2021-01 / 14 / Page011

Fitting finale for Pompeo as US secretary of state

China Daily Global | Updated: 2021-01-14 00:00

The US Department of State on Tuesday canceled all official travel this week citing the transition to the Joe Biden administration as the reason.

Judged by even the criterion of broken diplomatic parlance, that alibi simply does not hold water, as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has refused to acknowledge President Donald Trump's electoral defeat.

He is still loyally defending the president as a boost for the country even after the president faces impeachment for inciting violence against the country.

The rescinding of official trips means that along with the provocative planned visit to the island of Taiwan by US Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft, Pompeo's own trip to Belgium has also been scrapped.

Reportedly, the real reason his trip was canceled is because his European hosts, including the foreign ministers of Belgium and Luxembourg and the NATO chief, refused to meet him.

And although the State Department initially said Pompeo was going to visit the EU headquarters on his final official trip, a European Union spokesperson told the media there were never any plans for Pompeo to meet with any EU officials.

Europe's shutting the door in Pompeo's face is nothing but an open yet well-earned humiliating adieu to the top diplomat of the US.

His tenure has been characterized by his diplomacy of lies, sabotaging of international solidarity and open endorsement of the insurrection in Washington.

In response to the snub he and the administration received from the US' "long-time and strong" allies in Europe, the US administration imposed punitive tariffs on imports from France and Germany on Tuesday.

Pompeo presumably intended his visit to be an all's-well-that-ends-well happy ending for his time in office. But he has ignored the fact he has come back from his European trips empty-handed several times since he took office in May 2018, and it is clear that his European hosts are less than enamored of his appeals for them to join the US in waging a new Cold War.

With only a few days left in office, the violence in the US capital, which the Luxembourg foreign minister likened to "a 9/11 attack on democracy itself", has finally exhausted the Europeans' patience with the US administration.

Saying no thanks to Pompeo's final entreaties saves both sides the embarrassment in putting up with each other in their otherwise awkward meetings.

"History will reflect on the good work that this president and our administration has done," Pompeo told the media on Tuesday as farewell words to allies across the Atlantic, and beyond.

Perhaps it will, if it can find any.

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