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Pompeo postpones Cyprus visit

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has postponed his January 7 trip to Cyprus due to tensions with Iraq following attacks on the American embassy in Baghdad.

“Secretary Pompeo must postpone his visit to Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Cyprus due to the need for the Secretary to be in Washington, D.C., to continue monitoring the ongoing situation in Iraq and to ensure the safety and security of Americans in the Middle East,” said the US State Department.

It said Pompeo’s trip will be rescheduled in the near future and “he looks forward to the visit at that time”.

Pompeo’s visit to Kyiv on Friday was awaited with great interest given the impeachment proceedings against US President Donald Trump over alleged pressures he exerted on President Volodymyr Zielensky to investigate his political opponent former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.

His landmark visit to Cyprus was seen as pivotal due to rising tensions in the East Mediterranean following recent Turkish moves in the region.

Nicosia also saw the visit as a confirmation of its renewed importance to Washington as a regional ally and friend after the lifting of the US arms embargo.