Citing "pressing issues" U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo canceled a planned visit to Berlin Tuesday, the U.S. Embassy in Berlin announced.
The U.S. Embassy issued a brief statement explaining that the high-level meeting would be rescheduled due to "pressing issues," highlighting that the Secretary of State was looking forward to the critical set of meetings in Germany.
Mike Pompeo was supposed to conduct meetings with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and country's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. According to the German Foreign Office, they had to discuss urgent international relations matters, including the situation in Syria, Ukraine, and Venezuela, as well as the ties with Russia and China.
The German Foreign Office refused to comment on the reasons for the cancellation, asking the press to contact the U.S. Embassy for more information.
Since President Donald Trump took office in 2017, the tensions between Washington and Berlin escalated. Donald Trump criticized Angela Merkel for not taking measures against Huawei Technologies Co. In addition to that, Washington and Berlin did not share the same views on the future of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. Furthermore, in Trump's view, Germany is not investing enough in defense.
The disarray became visible to the broad public in February. Speaking at the Munich Security Conference, U.S. President Mike Pence sparkled debates with his speech that contained a list of things that, according to Washington, Europeans, and mostly the Germans need to do.
According to Juergen Hardt, a foreign policy expert and a lawmaker in Merkel's Christian Democratic Union, the U.S. statement on the cancellation is ''not a snub.'' However, it would have been good if this meeting had taken place, Hardt added.
Although Mike Pompeo was in Europe to visit Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Belgium, and Iceland at that time, he canceled attendance at the Munich Security Conference. Therefore, Tuesday's meeting would have been his first official visit to Germany since he became a Secretary of State last year.
On Monday, Pompeo visited Rovaniemi, Finland, to represent our country at the Arctic Council. During his speech, he pointed out that Washington was fortifying America's security and diplomatic presence in the region.
Pompeo's trip to Europe continues with meetings in London on Wednesday where he would sit on the table with Prime Minister and Theresa May and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt. On Thursday Pompeo is due to fly to Nuuk, Greenland for a meeting with the Greenlandic Prime Minister Kim Kielsen and Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen.
Do you believe that the USA and Germany would reach an agreement on the controversial issues any time soon?