Nicola Sturgeon has said Holyrood ministers promoting Scotland around the globe “should, quite simply, be seen as part of the job for whoever the government of the day happens to be”.
Writing in The Times ahead of a speech to the Brookings Institution in Washington DC on Monday, the First Minister defended her trip to the United States.
“The SNP’s opponents try to delegitimise the Scottish government’s international engagement,” she said.
“But the reality is that Scottish ministers have been making international visits like this since the start of the devolution era, long before my party took office.
“Promoting our country overseas should, quite simply, be seen as part of the job for whoever the government of the day happens to be.”
In the column, Ms Sturgeon said the “pandemic, the climate crisis and Russia’s brutal illegal of invasion of Ukraine all strengthen the imperative for international co-operation and concerted action”.
She added: “Scotland must be part of that co-operation and, whatever our constitutional future, that is why visits like this one matter.”
In her speech to the think tank later, the First Minister is expected to say that missing climate change targets agreed at the Cop26 summit in Glasgow would be “catastrophic”
Her speech is to include a plea to other nations to ensure that the strains placed on the international order by the conflict in Ukraine do not result in the promises made at Cop being broken.