Iceland’s Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir met with U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on Tuesday for a bilateral meeting ahead of the Arctic Council ministerial on May 20.
The meeting was dominated by environmental issues, the Icelandic government said in a statement.
“[Jakobsdottir and Blinken] discussed the pandemic and the importance of the recovery from it being green and sustainable,” the news release said.
“[Jakobsdottir] expressed her satisfaction with the United States’ re-accession to the Paris Agreement and reiterated the importance of international cooperation in the field of climate change.”
Arctic affairs also discussed
In addition, Arctic affairs were also high on the agenda.
“Secretary Blinken and Prime Minister Jakobsdottir discussed the global community’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and the need for greater climate action, promoting women’s rights and equality, and Arctic security,” U.S. Department of State spokesperson Ned Price said on Tuesday.
The Arctic Council is an international forum made up of the world’s eight circumpolar nations: Canada, Denmark/Greenland, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Russia and the United States; and six Arctic Indigenous groups: the Aleut International Association, the Arctic Athabaskan Council, the Gwich’in Council International, the Inuit Circumpolar Council, the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North and the Saami Council.
The forum works on environmental protection and sustainable development in the North.
The foreign ministers of all eight Arctic countries are gathering in Reykjavik this week for the ministerial, the biennel meeting where the rotating two-year chairmanship is handed over.
This year, current chair Iceland will hand over leadership to Russia.
Write to Eilís Quinn at eilis.quinn(at)cbc.ca
Related stories from around the North:
Canada: From strategic plan to deliverables, Iceland gears up for Arctic Council ministerial, Eye on the Arctic
Iceland: Arctic Council’s work on track despite pandemic, now gearing up for 2021 ministerial, says ambassador & SAO, Eye on the Arctic
India: Pole to Pole: India’s Arctic White Paper, Blog by Marc Lanteigne
Norway: Norway’s FM confirms participation in upcoming Arctic Council ministerial, The Independent Barents Observer
United States: Russian, U.S. foreign ministers to meet on sidelines of Arctic Council meeting, Eye on the Arctic