Pompeo visits NATO HQ on 1st trip abroad as top US diplomat

Hours after being sworn in, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hit the ground running on Friday at NATO headquarters in Brussels on his first trip abroad as the top US diplomat. Pompeo flew to Brussels, where NATO’s foreign ministers are meeting to prepare a leaders’ summit in July. “I did come straight away, I was sworn in yesterday and I hopped on a plane,” Pompeo told NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg as he arrived. “The president very much wanted me to get here.” Stoltenberg said Pompeo’s presence at the meeting so soon after taking the reins of the State Department was “a great expression of the importance of the alliance and the importance we attach to the alliance.” A senior US official says Pompeo’s aim is to ensure that NATO maintains a unified position of “no business as usual” with Russia and to prod members to meet their commitments to spend 2 percent of their GDP on defense by 2024, AP reports.