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Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Icelandic and Indian Foreign Ministers meet in New Delhi

At a meeting with Mr. S.M. Krishna, India's Foreign Minister in New Delhi yesterday, Mr. Ossur Skarphedinsson, Minister for Foreign Affairs, made a formal request that India would continue to support Iceland's Economic Recovery Programme within the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Also Mr. Skarphedinsson expressed his gratitude for India's positive reaction towards the Icelandic government request for support when disbursement of the Fund's loan to Iceland was delayed at an earlier stage.

The two ministers welcomed considerable growth in trade between the two countries and discussed ways to further it more, e.g. by advancing a Free Trade Agreement between India and the EFTA-states. India's Foreign Minister requested a closer cooperation with Iceland in fisheries but the next step in the nations' cooperation in fisheries will be taken when a group of Indian specialists will participate at UNU Fisheries Training Programme in Iceland.

Mr. Skarphedinsson gave an account on the status of the cooperation between the nations in geothermal energy development, but an agreement on the first collaboration between Icelandic and Indian companies concerning a small geothermal power project is in its final stages. The Minister proposed a co-operation with the Indian government in building more geothermal power plants, and offered assistance in developing a geothermal energy policy in India.

Furthermore Minister Skarphedinsson discussed projects between Iceland and India in designing and building of small geothermal power plants in the mountain regions of Northern India. The Ministers discussed India's plans in harvesting solar energy, and interest of Indian investors in producing silicon chips and equipment for solar plants in Iceland, using renewable energy.

Finally the ministers discussed the cooperation between Iceland and India in international affairs and the situation in North Africa, Afghanistan and Palestine, as well as India's relations with its neighbouring countries, the situation in Iceland and prospects in the Arctic region.

Monday, Icelands Minister for Foreign Affairs met with India's Minister of the Environment, Jairam Ramesh, and the Minister of Tourism, Subodh Kant Sahay.

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