Mike Pompeo

Regional News • Americas
The U.S. added Cuba back to the list of state sponsors of terrorism
Mural in Havana, Cuba
Mural in Havana, Cuba Credit: flippinyank (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The Trump administration added Cuba to a list of state sponsors of terrorism Monday, reversing a signature policy move of the Obama administration and potentially hampering President-elect Joe Biden’s ability to broker a rapprochement to Havana quickly.

A U.S. economic embargo of Cuba already curbs Americans’ ability to do business with or visit the communist island. But the new terrorism label could hinder commercial deals with third countries. Cuba relies on to import essential goods and turn off foreign investors in its all-important tourism industry.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Cuba of "repeatedly providing support for acts of international terrorism in granting safe harbour to terrorists."

Regional News • Americas • United States
Mike Pompeo exposed to Covid-19, but "has been tested and is negative"
Mike Pompeo exposed to Covid-19, but "has been tested and is negative"
Credit: U.S. Department of State from United States, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated that he had been in contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19. Though he "has been tested and is negative", he will be in quarantine "in accordance with CDC guidelines" and will be "closely monitored by the Department's medical team," so a spokesperson of the State Department.

Regional News • World
USA imposes sanctions on Turkey over purchase of Russian missile system
USA imposes sanctions on Turkey over purchase of Russian missile system
Credit: Vitaly V. Kuzmin / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The U.S. is imposing sanctions on NATO ally Turkey over its deployment of Russia's S-400 missile defense system. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Monday in Washington that punitive measures would be imposed against the Defense Security Directorate (SSB). The directorate reports to the office of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The sanctions included a ban on all U.S. export licenses and permits for SSB, Pompeo announced.

Any assets of SSB chief Ismail Demir and other U.S. executives would be frozen. They would also be subject to entry restrictions. At the same time, Pompeo stressed that Turkey is a "valued ally" of the U.S. and an important security partner in the region, and that they would like to see continued cooperation in the defense sector.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Mike Pompeo is hosting a 900-person indoor Christmas party at the State Department amid Covid-19 surge
Mike Pompeo is hosting a 900-person indoor Christmas party at the State Department amid Covid-19 surge
Credit: U.S. Department of State from United States, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has invited over 900 people to his "Diplomacy at Home for the Holidays" event at the State Department's Benjamin Franklin Room, the Washington Post reports. The event is set to take place on December 15 and has come under scrutiny by various health officials.

Ian Lipkin, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University, said he was "flabbergasted" and warns that this event could repeat "what we saw in the White House Rose Garden following the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett."

Regional News • Middle East
Mike Pompeo makes unprecedented visit to Israeli settlement in West Bank
Mike Pompeo makes unprecedented visit to Israeli settlement in West Bank
Credit: Twitter Reproduction

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has toured a Jewish settlement in the Israeli-occupied West Bank - the first such visit by a top US official.

Israel’s military occupation has received a symbolic US stamp of approval after Mike Pompeo toured an archaeological dig run by a far-right settler group and visited a settlement that farms grapes on land Palestinians say was stolen from them.

Regional News • Europe
Macron reinforced his proposition of a strategic autonomy of the EU
Macron reinforced his proposition of a strategic autonomy of the EU
Credit: Presidencia de la República Mexicana / via Wikimedia Commons

In a direct contradiction of German minister of defense, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, French president Emmanuel Macron said shortly before visiting US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, that the European Union should pursue its attempts to get strategic autonomy, especially regarding military matters.

He admitted that the EU still has no strategic sovereignty, but should continue to try to become a fully established European power, even with a new administration in the White House in the near future.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Vatican denies Mike Pompeo audience with Pope Francis
U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo meets with His Holiness Pope Francis in Vatican City, on October 3, 2019
U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo meets with His Holiness Pope Francis in Vatican City, on October 3, 2019 Credit: U.S. Department of State from United States / Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

Vatican's Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin and Foreign Minister Archbishop Paul Gallagher have stated that Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State, has been denied an audience with Pope Francis and stated that "the pope had already said clearly that political figures are not received in election periods".

Regional News • Middle East
U.S. unilaterally declares U.N. sanctions on Iran are back in force
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Credit: Bundesministerium für europäische und internationale Angelegenheiten (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The United States unilaterally proclaimed on Saturday that United Nations sanctions against Iran are back in force. The U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said "Today, the United States welcomes the return of virtually all previously terminated UN sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran."

Pompeo also stated "If UN member states fail to fulfill their obligations to implement these sanctions, the United States is prepared to use our domestic authorities to impose consequences for those failures and ensure that Iran does not reap the benefits of UN-prohibited activity."

In a joint letter to the U.N. Security Council, France, Germany, and United Kingdom said "Any decision or action taken with a view to re-installing [the sanctions] would be incapable of legal effect."

And the Russian foreign ministry stated "The illegitimate initiatives and actions of the United States by definition cannot have international legal consequences for other countries."

Regional News • Middle East
US pressures Assad with new round of sanctions

The US has introduced new sanctions on the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The sanctions fall under the Caesar Act, which went into effect in June, 2020 and targets industries and entities that deal with the Assad administration, including those in Iran and Russia. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the purpose of the sanctions is to pressure Assad into ending the war, which has entered its ninth year.

Syria is currently facing an economic crisis, with many struggling to find food and other basic goods. Syrian officials have blamed the worsening conditions on American and EU sanctions.

Kelly Craft, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, stated the sanctions are not meant to harm civilians, nor do they target humanitarian efforts.

Regional News • Americas • United States
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo states that the United States are considering to ban TikTok
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo states that the United States are considering to ban TikTok
Credit: unsplash.com / Kon Karampelas

During an interview at Fox News, Laura Ingraham asked the United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo if the Trump Administration is considering to ban Chinese social media apps such as TikTok. Pompeo stated that "With respect to Chinese apps on people's cell phones, I can assure you the United States will get this one right too, Laura" and that he doesn't "want to get out in front of the President, but it's something we're looking at". He also stated security concerns with TikTok and suggested that people should only install the app on their phones if they want their "private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party".

Regional News • Asia • China
Chinese state media dismisses accusation that Covid-19 originated in a laboratory

The Global Times newspaper, which is owned by the Chinese State and controlled by the ruling Chinese Communist Party, has published an editorial article reaction to the accusation of the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that there was "enormous evidence" for a laboratory origination of Covid-19. The article stated that "Pompeo does not have any evidence, and during Sunday's interview, he was bluffing" and asks for Pompeo to "present this so-called evidence to the world".