Blinken to attend Arctic Council meeting in Iceland, State Department says

The May ministerial meeting in Reykjavik marks the culmination of Iceland's two -year period chairing the Arctic Council.

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U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken participates in a virtual bilateral meeting with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta at the State Department Washington, U.S. April 27, 2021. (Leah Millis / Reuters)

WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is set to visit Iceland on May 19-20 to participate in a biennial ministerial meeting of the Arctic Council, State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement earlier this week.

The statement came after Blinken held a phone call with his Icelandic counterpart Gudlaugur Thordarson on Monday. The two ministers discussed Blinken’s planned trip to Rejkjavik, Price said.

Blinken had previously confirmed he would the Reykjavik ministerial meeting during a speech earlier in April, the Independent Barents Observer reported. Blinken’s Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, will also attend the ministerial, according to the Barents Observer.

The May meeting marks the close of Iceland’s two-year period chairing the eight-nation Arctic Council. Russia will assume the chairmanship for the next two years.

Reporting by Daphne Psaledakis and Humeyra Pamuk.