State Department cancels travel amid transition efforts

State Department cancels travel amid transition efforts
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The State Department on Tuesday announced that all planned travel will be canceled this week while it is solidifying plans to transition the department to President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenFirst lady leaves Walter Reed after foot procedure Biden backs effort to include immigration in budget package MyPillow CEO to pull ads from Fox News MORE’s team. 

We are expecting shortly a plan from the incoming administration identifying the career officials who will remain in positions of responsibility on an acting basis until the Senate confirmation process is complete for incoming officials,” the statement reads. “As a result, we are cancelling all planned travel this week, including the Secretary’s trip to Europe.”

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoNoem to travel to South Carolina for early voting event Poll: Trump leads 2024 GOP primary trailed by Pence, DeSantis Pence v. Biden on China: Competing but consistent visions MORE was supposed to travel to Belgium between Jan. 13-14 to “reaffirm” the United States’s alliance with Belgium and support for NATO. He was also scheduled to visit Luxembourg. Those plans have been canceled.

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According to a report from Reuters, citing people familiar with the matter, the move to cancel the trip came after Luxembourg's foreign minister and other top European Union officials said they would not meet with Pompeo and were “embarrassed” after the attacks on the Capitol last Wednesday.

The State Department statement says that the transition with Biden’s team has been going well and will be finished before Biden’s inauguration next Wednesday. 

Both the Department and the President-elect’s team have been fully engaged for several weeks toward this end, and we are pleased with the level of cooperation and professionalism that has been displayed,” according to the announcement. 

The move for the State Department comes after Pompeo met Biden’s pick for Secretary of State, Antony BlinkenAntony BlinkenBlinken urges Tunisian president to return country to 'democratic path as quickly as possible' Blinken calls US-India relationship 'vital' during official visit US sanctioning Syrian officials, groups over human rights abuses MORE, on Friday.

Our meeting was very productive, and we will continue to work together on behalf of America throughout the transition, Pompeo tweeted

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The meeting occurred a day after President TrumpDonald TrumpMyPillow CEO to pull ads from Fox News Haaland, Native American leaders press for Indigenous land protections Simone Biles, Vince Lombardi and the courage to walk away MORE released a video saying there would be a smooth transition for Biden’s team to get into office. That video was the first time Trump acknowledged Biden's election win after weeks of refusing to concede and tweeting about election fraud.

The Hill has reached out to the State Department for comment.

Updated at 2:37 p.m.