France’s Macron hosted Trump envoy after congratulating Biden

PARIS (AP) – French President Emmanuel Macron held a closed-door, low-key meeting with US President Donald Trump’s top diplomat on Monday, a delicate tip-toe around the tickling fact that France has already run for president-elect. So Biden is recognized as America. Election winner.

Zero pompous reception for US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a loyalist of Trump, at President Elysée Palace was in itself a sign of how Macron’s government is already looking ahead to the Biden era.

No press conference was held, allowing journalists the opportunity to ask Macron’s office, his foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, or Pompeo, whether they had discussed their conflicting interpretations of the US election result. Unusually, Le Drian met Pompeo at the Elysée Palace, instead of his office. Macron’s office described Pompeo’s halt as a “courtesy” visit.

Pompeo tweeted a photo of himself wearing a Stars and Stripes face mask at a meeting with “my good friend” Le Drian and said he had “significant discussion”.

“No challenge we can’t win when US-France translataltic relations are strong,” he tweeted.

A US State Department statement said Pompeo discussed several topics with Le Drian, including the NATO alliance, stabilization efforts for Libya and the Sahel region of Africa, promoting reform and promoting extremism in Lebanon And the statement said what countering described as our strong alliance. Malicious activity of the Chinese Communist Party in Europe. The nature of the alleged activity was not detailed. He also discussed human rights abuses in China’s western region of Xinjiang.

Nevertheless, it was not clear why Pompeo had come so long in the midst of the epidemic and was on a three-day halt in Paris for so long, which is largely closed due to the increase of coronovirus cases, For such low-visibility. result.

Pompeo’s team officials said French officials told them that no press access was possible due to concerns over the epidemic.

Pompeo appeared last week to raise doubts about Trump’s election defeat, stating that “Trump rather than a smooth transition to another Trump administration. ”

Macron called and greeted him last week with Biden.

Before meeting Macron and Le Drian, Pompeo placed a bouquet of red, white and blue flowers on a Paris Landmark, a memorial to victims of terrorism at the Hotel des Invalides.

The ceremony lasted for about a minute.

“The United States stands with France. We mourn the victims, pray for their families, and condemn in the strongest terms these insensitive attacks against innocent French citizens. “Pompeo tweeted.

In an Arrival tweet on Saturday, Pompeo laid the standard diplomatic basis for his Paris trip, noting that France is the “oldest friend and ally” of the United States.

From Paris, Pompeo was traveling to Turkey.

No meetings with Turkish officials were scheduled during the visit to Istanbul, a senior State Department official who was not authorized to speak publicly about Pompeo’s agenda last week.

The official said that stopping in Turkey would focus on promoting religious freedom and fighting religious persecution.

Pompeo will discuss religious issues with the Economic Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I, considered “the first among equals” in the Orthodox world, and with Turkish preacher Nuno, Archbishop Paul Russell.

The subsequent halt of the tour will include visits to Israeli settlements in the West Bank which have been avoided by previous secretaries of state.


Matthew Lee in Washington and John Leicester in Paris contributed to this report.


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