Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will begin a four-day tour next Friday that will take him to Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Cyprus, the government said today.
Pompeo will travel to Kiev on January 3 to meet with President Vladimir Zelensky, Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko and Defense Minister Andriy Zahorodnyuk, the State Department said in a statement.
The purpose of the visit, according to the State Department, is “to reaffirm U.S. support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The visit will take place just days before the U.S. Congress resumes its work, including the impeachment of President Donald Trump, accused of abuse of power and obstruction of legislative investigations into his dealings with the Ukrainian government.
According to the House of Representatives, Trump pressured Zelensky to launch an investigation into alleged corrupt activities in that country by former Vice President Joe Biden, who is listed as Trump’s potential rival in the 2020 election.
“The secretary (Pompeo) will attend a ceremony to honor those who have fallen in Donbas, the statement added in a reference to the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine where Russian-allied militias are fighting the Ukrainian government”.
Pompeo will also meet “with religious, civil society and business leaders to discuss human rights, the investment climate and the government’s reform agenda”.
On Saturday in Minsk, Pompeo will meet with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and Foreign Minister Vladimir Maeki “to emphasize the US commitment to a sovereign, independent, stable and prosperous Belarus and the desire to normalize relations to advance the bilateral relationship”.
Pompeo will then travel to Nur Sultan, where he will meet with the President of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, “to reaffirm our shared commitment to peace, prosperity and security in Central Asia, and to hold bilateral talks on investment, economic reform and human rights”.
On January 5th and 6th Pompeo will be in Tashkent where he will meet President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, to whom he will “reaffirm US support for reforms in Uzbekistan and for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity” of the former Soviet republic.
In the Uzbek capital, Pompeo will also participate in a meeting with the foreign ministers of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, in which the shared interests of these countries “with peace and stability in Afghanistan” will be discussed.
Finally on 7th January Pompeo will travel to Nicosia where he will meet Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides to “reaffirm the strong relationship between the USA and the Republic of Cyprus,” according to a press release.
In Cyprus Pompeo will also meet with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and “reaffirm to the leaders of both communities the continued support of the US to the efforts facilitated by the United Nations for the reunification of Cyprus as a federation”.