During their meeting yesterday, Ossur Skarphedinsson Iceland's Minister for Foreign Affairs and Kuupik Kleist, the Prime Minister of Greenland, vowed to increase cooperation between the nations both with regard to bilateral projects and other affairs concerning the Arctic Region. The interests of Icelanders and Greenlanders are intertwined in many fields and cooperation has increased during past years, i.a. in health-related affairs, tourism and air transport. The ministers discussed in particular matters of energy, the environment and the Arctic Region.
The ministers agreed that the Arctic Council's meeting in Greenland last May was a milestone for the Council. An agreement on search and rescue in the Arctic is of special importance. Kleist responded favorably to Skarphedinsson's ideas regarding cooperation towards setting up search and rescue facilities in Iceland. Skarphedinsson and Kleist also agreed on the importance of making an agreement on measures against oil pollution in the Arctic and that Icelanders and Greenlanders must make a joint effort to bring about such an agreement.
The ministers also discussed cooperation in energy affairs, i.a. to further discuss connecting energy utilization in Greenland with Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Europe. The matter could be an important step towards progress in time to come.
Kuupik Kleist will also meet with Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, Iceland's Prime Minister, and Steingrímur J. Sigfússon, Iceland's Minister of Finance, to discuss affairs of common interests between Iceland and Greenland.
During his stay, Greenland's Prime Minister will visit Althingi, get acquainted with energy affairs and safety- and rescue work etc. In connection with his visit, Promote Iceland will host a special promotion on Tuesday September 6th, on the opportunities for Icelandic businesses to trade and invest in Greenland.