Foreign Minister Össur Skarphéðinsson announced Iceland's decision to join the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in Tallinn during a meeting on 10 April with Estonia's Foreign Minister, Urmas Paet. The Centre aims to enhance capabilities, cooperation and information sharing in the field of cyber defence.
Foreign Minister Skarphéðinsson stated: “This is decided in the spirit of a growing consensus in Parliament on strengthening measures for cyber security. We believe it is in our best interest to cooperate closely with those who have the greatest expertise in this field, in order to enhance national security.”
Skarphéðinsson noted that the Estonian Foreign Minister had encouraged Iceland to join the Centre at their earlier meeting. “By joining the Centre of Excellence, we gain access to expertise and information. We will be able to send Icelandic experts on temporary assignments in the Centre, which should prove quite valuable,” he added.
The Centre of Excellence in Estonia was established in 2008. Currently, eleven allies within NATO are Sponsoring Nations. Joining the Centre is in line with Icelandic policy priorities, as the focus on cyber security is steadily increasing.
At their meeting, the Ministers discussed cooperation between the countries in various areas. Close ties between Iceland and Estonia are exemplified by a recently signed cooperation agreement regarding the location of the Icelandic Embassy in Estonia's chancery building in Beijing.