15:11 GMT +315 December 2019
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    United States Vice President Mike Pence speaks during the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany

    US Vice President Mike Pence to Visit Iceland on Tuesday

    © Photo : Matthias Schrader
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - On Tuesday, US Vice President Mike Pence will pay an official visit to Iceland as part of his European tour.

    Iceland is the first stop for Pence, who is also set to visit the United Kingdom on 4-5 September and Ireland on 6 September. The trip will focus on addressing trade issues, Brexit and countering alleged Iranian aggression.

    In Iceland, the US vice president is expected to highlight the country's strategic importance, NATO's efforts to counter purported Russian influence in the region, and bilateral opportunities to expand trade and investment.

    At the same time, Iceland's Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir has announced that she will not be available during the visit, as her "prior commitments" will keep her from meeting with Pence.

    Pence's trip comes after a US B-2 Spirit stealth bomber touched down at Naval Air Station Keflavik in Iceland last week ahead of regional military exercises.

    An F15 fighter jet lands at the Keflavik US Air Base, Keflavik, Iceland, Friday Feb. 24, 2006. (File)
    © AP Photo / Kirsty Wigglesworth
    An F15 fighter jet lands at the Keflavik US Air Base, Keflavik, Iceland, Friday Feb. 24, 2006. (File)

    Washington says it wants to strengthen ties with Reykjavík "to build enduring and strategic relationships necessary to confront a broad range of global challenges", claiming that Russia is increasing its naval presence in the North Atlantic.
    Iceland is a member of the NATO but does not maintain a standing army.


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    NATO, United States, Iceland, Mike Pence
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