Russia, China react to Mike Pompeo becoming US top diplomat | News | DW | 14.03.2018
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Russia, China react to Mike Pompeo becoming US top diplomat

Nations across the world have mostly shrugged off Donald Trump's decision to put CIA head Mike Pompeo in charge of the US State Department. Moscow said it was "hardly possible" for bilateral ties to fall any lower.

Relations between the US and Russia were already so low that it was unlikely that a new US Secretary of State would make them worse, Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday. Peskov's comments come a day after Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director Mike Pompeo was slated to replace Rex Tillerson as the US top diplomat.

"It is hardly possible to fall any lower than the floor," Peskov said in Moscow. "From this perspective, it is hardly necessary to worry about any further deterioration."

At the same time, Peskov said there was always hope that the ties would be treated "soberly and constructively."

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China and Japan look to North Korea

China also commented on the issue, saying that Beijing was ready to work with Pompeo and hoped to continue cooperating with Washington on hotspot issues.

"We of course hope that the positive momentum on the Korean peninsula, including the political will for talks of both the United States and North Korea, will be maintained," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a news briefing.

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China's neighbor and rival Japan also said they wanted to continue working with the US on North Korea. However, Japan's foreign minister Taro Kono said that he personally regretted Tillerson's departure.

"He (Tillerson) was a frank, trustworthy counterpart and I thought we would deal with the North Korea issue together," Kono said.

Berlin official bother by 'lack of predictability'

In Germany, Chairman of the Bundestag Foreign Relations Committee Norbert Röttgen criticized the switch at the top of the US State Department, saying it showed the lack of "predictability."

"This is just what we are missing, what the world is missing – predictability," he told DW. "This decision on the foreign minister, the firing without mentioning the reason, is just a symbol for the lack of predictability of the foreign policy of the United States."

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Röttgen also said that the appointment of Pompeo, known for his opposition to the Iran nuclear deal, would not change much in Washington's stance on Iran.

"We knew before that the president is critical, has been critical, of this agreement," he said. However, pulling out of the nuclear accord would put the US' reliability at stake, according to the official.

Iran: 'not our concern'

Iran also appeared unshaken with Donald Trump's latest appointment.

"This is a domestic issue for the US and not our concern," Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghassemi Hossein said in Tehran, adding that constant changes in the Trump administration were nothing new.

Iran is focusing on the US' broader policy and not individuals, according to the spokesman.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu weighed in on the new Secretary of State from a diplomatic visit to Moscow. Cavusoglu said that Ankara wanted to be respected.

"We do not want to comment on it but whoever it will be, they need to first learn how to behave, approach and respect us," he said.

Previously, Turkish media commented on a tweet allegedly made by Pompeo before he was named CIA director. The deleted tweet referred to the failed coup and reportedly dubbed Turkey as "totalitarian Islamist dictatorship."

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dj/jm (Reuters, dpa, AFP)

 

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