NICOLA Sturgeon has met Iceland’s Prime Minister during the latter’s two-day visit to Scotland.

The First Minister welcomed Katrin Jakobsdottir to Bute House in Edinburgh yesterday, with the pair discussing the relationship between the two countries and addressing key issues including Brexit and climate change.

The First Minister and Icelandic Prime Minister will be in attendance at a meeting of the Well-being Economy Governments (WEGo) group today. The network facilitates the sharing of experience and expertise among officials working to embed wellbeing outcomes in economic policy. Delegates will discuss the importance of economic growth alongside the experiences and living conditions of communities.

Following the meeting with Jakobsdottir, the First Minister said: “It was a pleasure to host the Prime Minister at Bute House.

“Our countries have a long history of friendship, with many historic and cultural ties.

“It was an opportunity to discuss the many areas where we have shared ambitions and challenges, such as our desire to grow sustainable tourism and take action to reduce and mitigate the effects of climate change.

“I also set out the Scottish Government’s position on Brexit and our determination that Scotland continues to play a full and active role in Europe.”

Sturgeon added: “I look forward to working with the Icelandic government in the future on our common goals of promoting fair and equitable societies, where economic growth is matched by improved well-being.

We will take that forward tomorrow with discussions at the Wellbeing Governments group meeting.”

Jakobsdottir said: “Iceland and Scotland enjoy a long-standing relationship. I am delighted that we are now collaborating on the Wellbeing Econ-omy Government project, in which Scotland has demonstrated an important leadership.

“We agree on the urgency of responding to climate change and we are committed to our collaboration on sustainable tourism.

“Scotland has also taken important initiatives in relation to gender-based violence, not least image-based abuse and domestic violence, a development which we follow closely.”

Earlier this year, Jakobsdottir told the first edition of BBC Scotland’s The Nine that Scotland “absolutely” could be an independent country.

She told the programme’s journalist James Cook: “In Iceland we have 360,000 people, so I often get asked when I’m travelling abroad ‘You’re an independent nation, do you have your own language?’. So in these issues I don’t think size matters.”

Asked if Scotland could be independent, she replied: “Absolutely.”

Iceland, which became fully independent 75 years ago, is not in the EU but is a member of the single market.

Jakobsdottir hinted that she would be concerned about a no-deal Brexit. “The UK is a very important trade partner for Iceland. We have a lot of trade and strong relations and in a way we also have strong cultural relations based on our common history,” she said.

“Brexit without a deal must be a very difficult decision for the UK so therefore it is also a concern for us, both because we have economic interests and also because we think of the UK as our friend in the world.”

During her visit to Edinburgh, Jakobsdottir also met Ken Macintosh, the Scottish Parliament’s presiding officer, at Holyrood.

Jakobsdottir has been Prime Minister since November 2017, and chair of the country’s Left Green movement since 2013.