US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday introduced a seven-nation tour of US allies, which have congratulated President-elect Joe Biden regardless of Donald Trump’s refusal to concede.
Pompeo stated he’ll depart Friday for Paris after which head to Istanbul and the previous Soviet republic of Georgia earlier than visiting Jerusalem and three key Gulf Arab allies — Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.
The journey will focus on Trump’s “historic efforts to forge peace and cooperation all through the Center East,” Pompeo advised reporters.
The journey will doubtless be awkward as Trump has denied that he misplaced final week’s election and his administration has refused to start out the transition to Biden, who can be inaugurated on January 20.
France, which like many European nations had strained relations with Trump, swiftly voiced hope of working with Biden, who shares French priorities on combating local weather change, cooperating towards the Covid-19 pandemic and pursuing diplomacy with Iran.
However Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan — all buddies of Trump — have additionally congratulated Biden.
The Democrat has pledged to position a better precedence on human rights and democracy, calling for a re-evaluation of the connection with Saudi Arabia and for assist for Turkey’s opposition.
Pompeo on his journey is anticipated to debate elevating additional stress on Iran within the remaining two months of the Trump administration, which in 2018 bolted from a multinational denuclearization accord with Tehran and imposed punishing unilateral sanctions.
Israel and Gulf Arabs have seen rising relations as they share the Trump administration’s hostility to Iran.
In September, each the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain stated they’d acknowledge the Jewish state and Trump had pressed Saudi Arabia to observe swimsuit. Sudan has additionally stated it would normalize relations with Israel.
Whereas Pompeo has been a frequent customer within the Center East, will probably be his first solo journey to Paris; his solely different journey was when he joined Trump for the 2018 ceremony marking the centennial of the top of World Battle I.
Pompeo has mocked the final Democratic secretary of state, John Kerry, for his frequent travels to Paris, telling a conservative group earlier this 12 months that he was not concerned with “fancy dinners” and “cocktails.”
Pompeo may even be the primary secretary of state since Kerry to go to Georgia.
Like the US, Georgia just lately held elections that had been disputed, with the opposition saying the vote was rigged and staging protests.