“Diplomacy is the lace of hypocrisy,” Belgian writer Patrick Lowie once wrote. The three-day visit to Paris by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, loyal to Donald Trump, promises to be a summit from this point of view.
The head of American diplomacy arrived this Saturday morning in the French capital, where he is due to meet French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday, who has already, unlike Donald Trump, recognized the victory of Joe Biden in the race for the White House.
First bilateral visit to France
Before that, nothing planned in his agenda for the Secretary of State, who came with his wife, except a tribute to the victims of the recent attacks perpetrated in France. “Happy to be in France, the oldest friend and ally of the United States,” also tweeted when he got off the plane Pompeo, which is the first bilateral visit to the French capital, except for a trip to accompany the American president. “Our partnership is built on shared values: democracy, freedom and the rule of law,” he added.
But Monday therefore, he must meet Emmanuel Macron as well as his counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian. But even these interviews should largely be done away from the cameras. The French indeed insisted on the fact that they had agreed to receive Mike Pompeo at his own request, and “in full transparency with the team of President-elect Joe Biden”. “Simple courtesy visit”, thus ensures this Saturday to the World the entourage of the Head of State.
Strong talks in sight
President Macron was among the first to congratulate Joe Biden on his election to the United States, then to speak with him on the phone. And this even though the outgoing Republican president has still not acknowledged his defeat. Mike Pompeo himself, before taking off for a tour of Europe and the Middle East of which Paris is the first stop, refused to recognize the victory of Joe Biden. “There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration,” he said Tuesday, before criticizing foreign leaders who have already made contact with the Democrat.
Beyond these two parallel realities which risk parasitizing American diplomacy, the Parisian talks are also expected to be tense. Jean-Yves Le Drian warned that he would oppose, in front of Mike Pompeo, an acceleration of the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan and Iraq, envisaged by Donald Trump before the official end of his mandate, on January 20.
According to the State Department, discussions will also focus on “transatlantic unity,” often abused during the Trump era, as well as the fight against terrorism.
Original article by : www.leparisien.fr