Minister for Foreign Affairs Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson today met with his Latvian counterpart Edgars Rinkevics, who currently holds the Presidency of the European Union (EU).
At the meeting, the Minister for Foreign Affairs delivered a letter to the Presidency of the Union and the Commission announcing that the Government of Iceland had decided at its cabinet meeting last Tuesday that it did not intend to restart accession negotiations with the EU. Hence, the Government considers that Iceland is no longer a candidate country and requests the EU to act in accordance with this from now on. Furthermore, it is stressed that this new policy supersedes the commitments made in the course of accession negotiations by the former government.
In his discussion with Mr. Rinkevics, the Minister for Foreign Affairs emphasised the importance of continued strong relations and cooperation between Iceland and the EU, including on the basis the EEA Agreement.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs expressed his earnest desire to strengthen the cooperation between Iceland and the EU, even further.The Latvian Minister for Foreign Affairs said he respected this conclusion and was in agreement on the importance of continuing positive and close cooperation between the EU and Iceland.
The Government's decision to address a letter to the Presidency of the EU came after extensive communications between the Icelandic Government and the EU over the past weeks.
The European Commission has been informed of the contents of the letter.