H.E. Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, Iceland‘s Minister for Foreign Affairs, met today in Brussels with Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule. The Minister informed the Commissioner of the decision of Iceland‘s new Government to put Iceland's EU-accession negotiations on hold and not to continue them without a prior referendum. The next step was to prepare an assessment of the status of the negotiations as well as of developments within the EU since Iceland applied. The assessment would be debated by the Althingi.
Minister Sveinsson also underlined the new Government‘s determination to ensure continued good relations with the Europe Union. He expressed his own and his Government's determination to reinforce Iceland‘s participation in EEA cooperation, and to further strengthen Iceland‘s collaboration with the EU in the areas of renewable energy, the Arctic, fisheries and agriculture. The Minister also made a firm request to be allowed to follow closely the preparations for the envisaged free trade agreement between the EU and the USA, pointing out that such an agreement would have a direct impact on Iceland and other EEA countries, and underlined the importance of external trade consultations between Iceland and the EU.