Merkel Meets with PM at Þingvellir

Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir and German Chancellor Angela Merkel shake ...

Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir and German Chancellor Angela Merkel shake hands. mbl.is/Kristinn Magnússon

Vala Hafstað

German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived in Iceland yesterday. She is the guest of honor at an annual meeting of the leaders of Nordic countries, which formally begins today, where environmental issues will feature high on the agenda, mbl.is reports.

At the press conference.

At the press conference. mbl.is/Kristinn Magnússon

Merkel was received last night by Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir at Þingvellir National Park – a place vital to Icelandic history, for this is where Icelanders established their parliament, Alþingi, in 930. Katrín gave her guest a guided tour of Almannagjá rift. From there, they walked to the prime minister’s cabin.

mbl.is/Kristinn Magnússon

There, the two leaders held a press conference, where Merkel confessed it had always been her dream to visit Iceland. It is an honor, she stated, to get to know a female leader here, who is optimistic about the future.

Angela Merkel and Katrín Jakobsdóttir at Þingvellir last night.

Angela Merkel and Katrín Jakobsdóttir at Þingvellir last night. Kristinn Magnússon

Merkel told the press that in 2010, the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull volcano had delayed her return home from a visit to the US. That, she noted, was as example of Iceland showing the world you must treat nature with respect and be humble toward it.

The leaders on their way to the press conference.

The leaders on their way to the press conference. Kristinn Magnússon

In their addresses at the press conference, both leaders stressed environmental issues and gender equality. Following the press conference, they privately discussed European issues, climate change and gender equality.

Kristinn Magnússon

It was a busy day for the Icelandic prime minister yesterday, for prior to meeting with Merkel, she met with Stefan Löfven, prime minister of Sweden, and Antti Rinn, prime minister of Finland.

The leaders, looking happy, at Þingvellir.

The leaders, looking happy, at Þingvellir. Kristinn Magnússon

Kristinn Magnússon

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