Washington, May 1 (EFE).- Newly-appointed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told State Department staff on Tuesday that he wants to revitalize the institution, which has seen its standing decline under President Donald Trump.
“I know we will deliver for this president and this country,” Pompeo told members of the Foreign Service, which he called “the most important in the world.”
“I have a great deal to learn,” he said of the State Department. “But as people, I know who you are. You chose to be a Foreign Service officer or a civil service officer. You came here because you’re patriots.”
Pompeo – who kicked off his newly-confirmed duties as chief diplomat with a NATO meeting in Brussels on April 26, followed by a four-country tour through the Middle East – added that US diplomats “need to be in every corner, in every stretch of the world, executing our mission.”
He also told the crowd that Trump and some of his Cabinet members will visit the State Department on Wednesday to formally swear him in.
Pompeo, a foreign policy hawk, will go from heading the CIA to leading foreign policy in the wake of Trump’s firing of Rex Tillerson.
The top US diplomat faces the challenge of making the State Department relevant again after it has been largely relegated to the sidelines under Trump.
In practical terms, the new secretary will need to fill a large number of vacant diplomatic posts, including that of ambassador to South Korea.