The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Össur Skarphéðinsson met with Ms. Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis, the Foreign Minister of Cyprus, during his official visit to Cyprus. Ms. Kozakou-Marcoullis pledged full support of Iceland's application for EU membership during Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the European Union which will commence on July 1, when Cyprus takes over the six-month rotating EU Presidency from Denmark.
Foreign Minister Skarphéðinsson explained Iceland´s accession process and stated the importance of fisheries, the uniqueness of Icelandic agriculture and other aspects that will be of great importance during the accession talks. He also explained Iceland‘s position regarding the mackerel negotiations as well as the so-called Icesave dispute.
The Ministers agreed that trade should be promoted between their respective countries and discussed ideas of increasing tourism between Iceland and Cyprus. Furthermore, the Foreign Minister of Cyprus explained the situation regarding the UN organised Cyprus negotiations.
During his official visit, Foreign Minister Skarphéðinsson also met with Yannis Omerou, the Speaker of the Cypriot Parliament, Mr. Averof Neophytou, President of the Committee for Foreign Affairs and Mr. Sofoclis Aletraris, who is in charge of Fisheries and Agriculture in the Cypriot government and who will therefore be leading the meetings of the European Union regarding fisheries and agriculture during the Cyprus Presidency in the EU. Furthermore, Mr. Skarphéðinsson was briefed on environmental projects in Cyprus that Iceland supports through the EFTA Development Fund.