U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo mysteriously canceled a meeting with Angela Merkel in Berlin on Tuesday, with the State Department blaming “pressing issues” for the last-minute cancelation, according to The Independent.
Pompeo was scheduled to meet Merkel and German foreign minister Heiko Maas in Berlin following a week in which several nations unsuccessfully tried to convince the administration of the United States about the reality of climate change. The secretary of state had been attending a meeting of the Arctic Council in Finland, during which leaders of countries such as Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, and Norway tried in vain to persuade Trump administration officials to accept the impact of climate change and the urgent need to take action.
Following the summit, Finnish foreign minister Timo Soini said that there will be no joint declaration because the other nations could not get the United States to agree on a text which contained language about climate change.
Pompeo has carried the baton of Trump’s denial of climate change assiduously during his trips abroad, often sparring with world leaders who sit on the other side of the climate change debate. It is not yet clear what the reasons for canceling his meeting with German leaders are, however. The U.S. State Department did not elaborate on why Pompeo was canceling an important meeting at the last minute — especially as the secretary had already made the trip — citing “pressing issues” for the cancelation.
“Unfortunately, we must reschedule the Berlin meetings due to pressing issues. We look forward to rescheduling this important set of meetings. The Secretary looks forward to being in Berlin soon,” the State Department said in a brief statement.
After news of Mike Pompeo canceling his meeting with Merkel first appeared, CNN’s Kaitlin Collins tweeted that members of the press pool traveling with the U.S. secretary were also in the dark about their next destination. They have been told not to report the destination until after they leave.
The press pool traveling with Pompeo has not been told where they are going next, and have been warned they may not be able to report the destination until after they leave. https://t.co/Fvt5IBmlcj— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) May 7, 2019
Pompeo’s meeting with Merkel was supposed to cover mutual concerns such as Syria, Russia, and China. Although the reasons for the cancelation are not clear at this point, it must be noted that just last week, the Pentagon deployed a carrier and a bomber task force to the Middle East in order to send a message to Iran, which the Trump administration has recently been putting pressure on, according to CNN. Then, on Sunday night, Pompeo said that the Trump administration will “hold the Iranians accountable for attacks on American interests.”
While it would be speculative to suggest any specific reason for the abrupt cancelation of the meeting, there is a concern that America’s relationship with Iran is on the verge of a breakdown. We can only wait and see how it all pans out.