US president Barack Obama has been formally invited to visit Iceland, courtesy of the prime minister.
Vísir reports that Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir invited the US president to visit Iceland, in hopes of strengthening good relations between the two countries. The invitation was apparently passed along while Jóhanna was in New York, preparing to address the UN. There, she met with Obama and the First Lady, who were attending as world leaders were discussing the Millennium Goals
This marks the second time the US president has been invited to Iceland, as foreign minister Össur Skarphéðinsson passed the invitation along to him last April at a NATO meeting.
US/Icelandic relations, while always positive, have recently hit a slight bump, in particular with regards to the website Wikileaks, which houses a server in Iceland. When the website released thousands of pages of sensitive document pertaining to the US effort in Afghanistan, many legislators in the US Congress were furious. Republican senator John Ensign even temporarily blocked Obama’s nominee for ambassador to Iceland over the matter.
Nonetheless, both countries are NATO members and have a long history of peaceful relations.