President of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas, who is on his way to the US, made a stop-over in Iceland yesterday and used the opportunity to have meetings with President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson and Foreign Minister Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir.
Abbas first met with Grímsson and joined him for a luncheon in his presidential residence Bessastadir and had a meeting with Gísladóttir in the afternoon, Fréttabladid reports.
Gísladóttir announced after the meeting that she had appointed ambassador Thórdur Aegir Óskarsson as a special envoy for issues concerning Palestine. According to Morgunbladid, he will be based in Iceland but travel regularly to the region where he will serve as an equivalent of Iceland’s ambassador to Palestine.
“We also discussed whether Iceland could influence [peace discussion between Israel and Palestine] among other things by inviting Palestinian and Israeli MPs to Iceland for discussions and at the same time have talks with Icelandic politicians,” Gísladóttir said.
The minister said some of her ministry’s employees had specialized knowledge of the situation in the Middle East.
Abbas will continue his journey to the US tomorrow where he will meet US President George W. Bush. Their meeting is supposed to revive the Israel-Palestine peace talks.
Click here to read about Iceland’s Foreign Minister’s last official visit to the Middle East.