The new American Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, up until now the Director of the CIA, will enter the international world of foreign affairs on Friday. He is attending the meeting, planned for some time now, of the ministers for foreign affairs from the 29 NATO countries, which is being held in Brussels. No sooner had his appointment been confirmed by the US Senate on Thursday than Mr Pompeo, chosen by the President, Donald Trump, to head up US Foreign Affairs, took off for Belgium. A spokeswoman from State Department said that Pompeo will then go to Saudi Arabia, Israel and Jordan.
This former serviceman, aged 54, who has since January 2017 led the world’s most powerful intelligence agency and is considered as a “hawk” of sorts, had his nomination confirmed by the Senate (by 57 votes in favour to 42 against), following a difficult parliamentary process. Mr Pompeo succeeds the business man, Rex Tillerson, the former CEO of the oil giant ExxonMobil, who was suddenly dismissed in March by Mr Trump, after a year heading up US Foreign Affairs.
Mr Pompeo recently spoke of Tillerson having a spectacular secret meeting with the North Korean President, Kim Jong Un, in Pyongyang.
Pompeo will take part in his first NATO meeting on Friday which will also be the last of the allied heads of foreign affairs before the meeting of the heads of state and government of the 29 NATO countries. That meeting is due to take place on July 11th and 12th in Brussels. Friday’s meeting will be the last such ministerial meeting to be held in the former Brussels NATO headquarters.
The allied heads of foreign affairs are today discussing the situation in the Middle East and North Africa, Afghanistan, and the Western Balkans, where Macedonia is currently negotiating an agreement with Greece, on behalf of NATO, in the hope that Greece will join NATO.