Today, on the West-Nordic Day, Gudlaugur Thór Thórdarson, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development Cooperation, and Pele Broberg, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Industry, Trade and Climate Affairs in Greenland, signed a joint declaration on increased co-operation between the two countries. The ministers welcome the countries' vigorous co-operation with special emphasis on the newly published report “Greenland and Iceland in the New Arctic” which offers a detailed analysis of the current co-operation between the two countries.
Earlier this year the Icelandic Parliament, Althingi, approved a parliamentary resolution on increased co-operation between Greenland and Iceland. The government is tasked, after consulting with Althingi, to follow up on proposals put forth by the Greenland Committee, appointed by Minister Þórðarson, on increased relations between Greenland and Iceland in areas where the countries' interests converge.
Both the Icelandic and Greenlandic governments have consulted and agreed on the attached joint statement of the ministers. In the statement the ministers celebrate the countries' strong and productive co-operation, which was further strengthened with the opening of the Icelandic Consulate in Nuuk in 2013 and the office of Greenland in Reykjavík in 2018.
"With the signing of the declaration today, we have taken another step towards a full-fledged relationship with our nearest neighbor. The Greenland report laid the groundwork, the parliamentary resolution proposal provided the mandate, and today's statement finally solidifies the agreement. Now that we have the necessary tools and equipment in hand, it can be said that a new chapter has begun in this project," says Minister Thórdarson.
“It is an honor and privilege for me to sign this important declaration today. The Joint Declaration expresses the deep commitment of the Government of Greenland in deepening our relations with Iceland and sets the stage for the work that lays ahead” says Minister Broberg.
The declaration emphasizes the role of Greenland and Iceland in connection with climate change in the Arctic and the report “Co-operation between Greenland and Iceland in the New Arctic” lays a solid foundation for identifying new and further areas of co-operation. The increase in trade in goods and services between Greenland and Iceland in recent years, as well as the resumption of direct flights between the two countries, is welcomed. It is an important step towards the reconstruction of tourism in the region after the Covid-19 pandemic. Increased collaboration in the field of fisheries and a willingness to further strengthen bilateral co-operation between the countries in this field is also welcomed. Furthermore, the ministers decided to initiate a joint feasibility study on bilateral talks on comprehensive Cooperation Arrangements, including free trade, in order to identify areas of deeper cooperation.