Iceland's PM will meet with Pence on Wednesday: government

Iceland's President Gudni Johannesson shakes hands with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence in Hofdi House in Reykjavik, Iceland September 4, 2019. REUTERS/Geirix

(Reuters) - Icelandic Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir will meet with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday, her government said, despite earlier reports that she would miss the visit.

Jakobsdottir had said she was unable to meet with the Vice President because she had a prior commitment to give a keynote speech at a conference, according to a report by the Iceland Monitor news outlet. Some saw this as a snub to U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration.

However, the Icelandic government said in a statement that the meeting would take place, and Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, also confirmed the meeting.

Pence touches down in Iceland on Wednesday, following visits to Poland and Ireland.

It was not immediately clear why Jakobsdottir’s plans had changed. Trump called off a trip to Denmark last month after the Danish prime minister rebuffed his idea of buying Greenland.

In Iceland, Pence is expected to bring up incursions into the Arctic Circle by China and Russia amid growing tensions in the polar region over melting ice and access to minerals, a White House official has said.

Reporting by Alex Alper and Stine Jacobsen; Editing by Kevin Liffey