Össur Skarphéðinsson, Icelandic Minister for Foreign Affairs, participates in the United Nations General Assembly this week in New York. The Minister has declared that Iceland will support Palestine‘s request for UN membership if and when it will be addressed by the UN General Assembly and was present when Palestinian Leader, Mahmoud Abbas, and Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, addressed the General Assembly on Friday.
During the General Assembly, Minister Skarphéðinsson has had a number of meetings with other ministers. He participated in a meeting of the Nordic Foreign Ministers and a meeting of European States with the United States and Canada. He took part in an event in the memory on Dag Hammarskjöld, former UN Secretary General and a meeting of the socalled Green group, a group of small States with emphasis on environmental affairs.
The minister met formally with Foreign Ministers of Pakistan and Kyrgizstan, who are running for a seat on the UN Security Council.
Minister Skarphéðinsson met with the Cypriot Foreign Minister, Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis, discussing bilateral issues between Cyprus and Icelands and Iceland‘s application to join the European Union. Cyprus will hold the EU presidency in the latter half of 2012 when it is expected that negotiations between the EU and Iceland have entered an important phase.
Kozakou-Marcoullis expressed Cyprus‘ support to Iceland‘s memebership bid. Kozakou-Marcoullis has visited Iceland on several occasions as Cyprus‘ Ambassador. She said Cyprus was willing to share its experiance from the accession negotiations as well as being a small island State in the EU.
Monday, Minister Skarphéðinsson will address the General Assembly.