Foreign Minister Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson visited Ottawa Canada on 17-18 September where he met with Canadian officials and representatives of the Canadian business community. The visit is in keeping with the Icelandic Government's emphasis on strengthening the transatlantic relationship.
Minster Sveinsson met with John Baird, Foreign Minister of Canada, on the relationship between the two countries and international cooperation, particularly NATO and the Arctic Council, of which Canada currently holds the chairmanship. The Minsters discussed the significance of responsible resources development in the Arctic and the importance of working bilaterally and with other Arctic states in securing sustainable development of the region. The Ministers agreed to further strengthening the ties between Iceland and Canada in trade and on Arctic issues and Foreign Minister Baird accepted an invitation to visit Iceland.
During a meeting with Simon Kennedy, the Deputy Minister for Trade, Minister Sveinsson emphasized the importance of further developing the existing free trade agreement between EFTA-countries and Canada. The ministers discussed ways in which to enhance trade between the two countries and welcomed the new air service agreement and the new destinations in Canada announced by the Icelandic carrier, Icelandair, as a result of the agreement. The ongoing free trade negotiations between Canada and EU were also discussed.Finally the Minister met with Richard B. Fadden Deputy Minister of Defense. In their meeting the Ministers discussed the security situation in the Arctic, Canada's participation in air surveillance missions in Iceland, the bilateral agreement between Canada and Iceland on security and defense and the current situation in Syria. Further strengthening the cooperation on security and defense is intended, based on the 2010 bilateral cooperation agreement between Iceland and Canada.