Pompeo will meet with Patriarch Bartholomew in Istanbul

There will be no negotiations with politicians, the State Department said.

Pompeo will meet with Patriarch Bartholomew in Istanbul

US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo will visit Istanbul during his upcoming visit to Turkey, where he will meet with Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and Apostolic Nuncio (Vatican Ambassador) Paul Russell, and no meetings with Turkish officials are planned with the chief of American diplomacy. This was announced by a representative of the State Department of High Rankings on Friday at a telephone briefing for journalists.

“Secretary of State Pompeo intends to use this opportunity to discuss religious issues. <…> No meetings with Turkish officials are planned at this time. We have a very busy schedule in Istanbul and I think senior Turkish officials have their own travel schedules”, –  he said.

One journalist asked for clarification whether Pompeo’s lack of meetings with Turkish politicians in the schedule is due to “the transfer of presidential authority [to Democrat Joseph Biden, who is predicted by the media to have won the U.S. elections]” or “friction” between Washington and Ankara, including the acquisition by Turkey of Russian anti-aircraft missile systems (AAMS) of C-400.

“This is just a matter of timing. <…> The schedule is very tight, I also know that Turkish officials, including the President and Foreign Minister of [Turkey], have their own travel plans <…>. We have plenty of opportunities to interact with our Turkish allies on all issues, <…> including those that are of concern to us, like C-400. <…> We do this on a regular basis through our diplomatic contacts. <…> This visit is short and will focus on religious issues”, –  the State Department official assured.

The visit to Turkey will be part of the tour during which Pompeo will also visit France, Georgia, Israel, UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The Secretary of State will leave on Friday, which will last until 23 November.

In Paris in particular, the chief of American diplomacy intends to discuss “transatlantic unity” and issues related to security and countering global threats with French President Emmanuel Macron and Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. In Georgia, Pompeo is scheduled to meet with President Salome Zurabishvili, Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia and Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani.

“Of course, we are trying to help Georgia deepen Euro-Atlantic relations and strengthen its democratic institutions. <…> Of course, we will [also] take this opportunity to reaffirm our support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”, –  said a State Department official at the briefing.

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