New US Secretary of state: We will use tough diplomacy

03 May, 2018, 12:04 | Author: Rachel Logan
  • Jacquelyn Martin  AP

Former CIA director Mike Pompeo was today sworn-in as the US Secretary of State.

The ceremony, which was broadcast on local TV channels, took place in the state Department building in Washington with the participation of US President Donald trump and Vice-President Mike Pence.

In his brief speech to the State Department's workforce, Pompeo emphasized the need for an active USA presence beyond its borders - striking a somewhat different tone than the president, who has advocated putting "America first".

With key deadlines looming in dealing with Iran and North Korea's nuclear ambitions, Pompeo promised to elaborate on his priorities after his official swearing-in ceremony with the president on Wednesday, the first time Trump will have visited the State Department since taking office.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.

Pompeo took office amid several pressing high-profile foreign policy developments, including a pending historic bilateral meeting between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, whom Pompeo met while Central Intelligence Agency director ahead of the planned summit. Trump said of Pompeo to reporters after the firing. "But as people I'm confident that I know who you are".

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It was a subtle attempt to differentiate himself from Tillerson, who was infamous for surrounding himself with just a few close aides and eschewing the input of career diplomats, rank-and-file staffers and even USA lawmakers.

Trump has been particularly disdainful of the work done by the State Department during the Obama administration. "We are profoundly grateful for everything you do for our country", he said, and hinted at the work ahead and some that's already underway.

Echoing a theme from his remarks to State Department employees on Tuesday, Pompeo again said he plans to give the department its "swagger".

He also personally thanked Trump and said his team would be "unrelenting in confronting (global) threats" to "make sure America is always a respected and principled leader on the world stage". The White House later said Trump had been joking. He also praised the President's decision to move the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv and to reaffirm historic alliances with European partners.

Trump's visit put a spotlight on his close ties with Pompeo.

Pompeo stated that Ukraine expected action, after which the government will be able to offer membership in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. "He is saying and doing the right things".

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