Yesterday the Foreign Ministers of Iceland and Estonia, Össur Skarphéðinsson and Urmas Paet, signed a cooperation agreement regarding the location of the Icelandic Embassy in Estonia´s chancery building in Beijing. According to the agreement, the Embassy of Iceland will be located at the building, sharing running cost with Estonia. This was announced at a press conference in Tallinn, following a meeting of the two Foreign Ministers.
Foreign Minister Paet stated that the agreement reflects Estonia's close co-operation with the Nordic countries. “Estonia has very good and strong ties with Iceland, and offering our embassy rooms to Iceland is a logical part of this co-operation,” he said.
Foreign Minister Skarphéðinsson stated: „The warm sentiment and generosity this offer exemplifies is of great importance to us and comes at a time when activity by Icelandic companies in China is increasing. It should also be said that Estonians have, since we recognized their independence in 1991, stood resolutely by our side.“
This is the fifth Icelandic Embassy to share premises; in London, Washington, Copenhagen and Berlin, the Icelandic embassy co-locates with other Nordic nations.
During their working meeting, Minister Skarphéðinsson went through the status of Iceland membership negotiations and the political situation in Iceland, ahead of the parliamentary elections on 27 April. He discussed the mackerel-dispute, listing Iceland‘s arguments against possible sanctions by the EU and stressing Iceland's commitment to ensure the long-term sustainability of the mackerel stock.
The Ministers also discussed Estonia's experience of becoming the newest member of the Euro, matters relating to NATO and issues of the Arctic. The Ministers agreed to host a conference next year in Tallinn, when Estonia will co-ordinate Nordic-Baltic co-operation and Iceland will be the chairman of the Nordic Council of Ministers.