After his visit to Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Belgium, Mike Pompeo, the United States Secretary of State will finish off his week’s worth of visits in Iceland. He is set to meet with Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir and Foreign Minister Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson later today.
US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo’s February 15 visit to Reykjavik comes as Iceland prepares to to take over Arctic Council chairmanship from Finland.
Large reserves of oil, gas, and minerals are generating territorial disputes in the region. An estimated $35 trillion worth of oil and natural gas are untapped in the Arctic. In the last 10 years, Russia, a member state of the Arctic Council made aggressive advances in the region, and so did China, despite it’s lack of territory in the Arctic.
Pompeo’s Central European tour has focused on Russia and China’s growing influence in the region. “The United States is committed to a strong, united, and capable transatlantic alliance rooted in the principles of common defense, democracy, and fundamental freedoms,” read a February 10 statement from the US Department of State.
In addition to Iceland’s chairmanship in the Arctic Council, the US Secretary of State will discuss security issues in the North Atlantic and growing economic relations between US and Iceland.