US Vice President Mike Pence visits Iceland next week, where he plans to discuss “incursions” into the Arctic Circle by Russia and China, Reuters reports. The media outlet quotes an anonymous source from within the Trump administration who said part of Pence’s official talks in the country will be “national security-focused.”
Pence begins a trip next week which will take him to Iceland, England, and Ireland. In London he will meet with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, where the two are expected to discuss Brexit. In Ireland, Pence will meet with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, as well as making a side trip to Shannon for events celebrating his Irish heritage.
According to the press release on the White House website, Pence has planned to “highlight Iceland’s strategic importance in the Arctic, NATO’s efforts to counter Russian aggression in the region, and opportunities to expand mutual trade and investment” during his visit.
It is not clear whether Pence will meet with Iceland’s Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir during his time in the country. Katrín originally announced she would be missing her planned meeting with the US official in favour of attending a convention of Nordic trade unions in Malmö, Sweden. Following a meeting between Katrín and the US Ambassador to Iceland, the Prime Minister’s Office announced that she was willing to find another time to meet with Pence.