REYKJAVIC, Iceland (AP) – During a trip to the shadow of the Middle East crisis, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on Tuesday spoke of a drastic change in Biden’s predecessor’s climate policy as he visited Iceland to meet with world top officials. Arctic countries.
At a meeting of the eight members of the Arctic Council in Reykjavik, Blinken announced the return of President Biden to the Paris Climate Agreement, a determination to fight climate change.
However, the escalation of violence between Israelis and Palestinians depended on the discussions. A small group of pro-Palestinian protesters holding banners and flags protested outside the conference center, where Blinken met with Icelandic Foreign Minister Gudlaugur Thor Thordarson.
“We are very focused on promoting our closest alliances and partnerships, as well as our involvement in multilateral institutions. Being here really represents both sides of that effort,” Blinken told the Foreign Minister. He praised Iceland for its strong support for human rights and its role in mitigating climate change and NATO.
The Arctic is warming faster than the rest of the world, it has been particularly hard hit by sea ice, rising sea levels from glaciers. Former US President Donald Trump alienated the Arctic countries to other countries, denying the phenomenon by withdrawing from the 2015 Paris Agreement.
Former Trump Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also stunned an environmental council meeting in Finland two years ago, urging countries to accept climate change, particularly the opening of new sea lanes due to melting ice, for commercial gain.
Blinken will tour several Icelandic geothermal energy sites on Tuesday, ahead of a series of bilateral meetings with other Arctic Council foreign ministers on Wednesday. Among them will be Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who will be the highest-level face-to-face talks between the two countries since Biden took office.
Blinken will see Lavrov amid a sharp deterioration in relations between Washington and Moscow, sparked by Russia’s troop recruitment, cyberattacks and accusations that Russia interfered in the 2016-2020 US presidential election. The two peoples are also in conflict. Regarding the influence on the Arctic,: Russia claims that its large Arctic territory makes it a dominant power in the region.
Moscow and Washington are also embroiled in a bitter dispute over the status of their embassies and consulates this year. Russia has given the United States until August 1 to get rid of all non-US employees in its diplomatic missions, which, according to the US, will make the operation of its institutions almost impossible.
Blinken’s “Lavrov talks” will also be a precondition for Biden’s upcoming summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin next month.
Senior officials say Biden is interested in testing the idea that the United States and Russia can work together on certain issues, such as climate change, the Middle East, Iran and North Korea, despite fierce disagreements over others.
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