Secretary of State Pompeo abruptly cancels Berlin trip due to unspecified ‘pressing issues’

WASHINGTON – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo abruptly canceled a trip to Berlin Tuesday due to unspecified “pressing issues.” 

Pompeo had been scheduled to meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel and Germany’s foreign minister Tuesday to discuss a set of thorny foreign policy issues, including Ukraine, Russia and Syria.

But Pompeo was instead headed to an undisclosed destination, and reporters traveling with him were told they would not be able to report on Pompeo’s altered itinerary until he had left the newly added stop.

A State Department spokeswoman did not explain Pompeo’s sudden change of travel plans.

“Unfortunately, we must reschedule the Berlin meetings due to pressing issues,” said State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus. “We look forward to rescheduling this important set of meetings. The secretary looks forward to being in Berlin soon.” 

Pompeo was in Finland on Monday to take part in a meeting of the Arctic Council, part of a four-day trip to Europe. He used that forum to warn Russia and China against aggression in the Arctic region.

“The region has become an arena of global power and competition and the eight Arctic states must adapt to this new future,” Pompeo said in a speech Monday.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo talks to the media on the sidelines of the Arctic Council ministers' working dinner at the Arktikum museum in Rovaniemi, Finland, Monday, May 6, 2019. The U.S. is dispatching an aircraft carrier and other military resources to the Middle East following what it says are indications that Iran and its proxy forces are preparing to possibly attack U.S. forces in the region. (Mandel Ngan/Pool Photo via AP) (Photo: Mandel Ngan, AP)

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