Prime minister will meet Pence after all
Mike Pence will spend all of tomorrow in Iceland and will meet with the country’s foreign minister and the president, among others.
It was previously reported that Katrín and Pence would not manage to meet, as she has a prior engagement in Sweden, where she will give the keynote speech to the conference of Nordic trades unions. Her decision to keep her previous engagement and therefore not meet Pence garnered worldwide attention—not least because it came on the same week as President Trump cancelled a visit to Denmark over the country’s refusal to discuss selling Greenland to the USA.
US ambassador to Iceland Jeffrey Gunter met with Katrín at the Prime Ministry following the news coverage to discuss making sure a meeting could take place; possibly by extending Pence’s stay in the country. One of the focuses of his visit is expected to be to discuss Russian and Chinese efforts to increase their influence in the Arctic region.
Katrín said in an interview with RÚV’s Silfrið television programme this weekend that while the meeting with Pence was (at the time) still not confirmed, she rejected claims that she simply does not want to meet him. She described the situation as a mini-crisis based on very little. “Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State, came here and we had a good meeting earlier this year in which I went over exactly these issues of the Arctic, specifically the climate, and my personal big issue of nuclear disarmament; which I have actually also discussed with Trump himself at the NATO meeting here last year. I have never approached international relations from the standpoint that one should only talk to those one is in full agreement with, as I would probably not talk to many people then.”