Foreign Minister Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg met in Reykjavík today. During their meeting they discussed security and defence issues and the challenges that NATO Allies are faced with due to the situation in Ukraine and the emergence of the terrorist organisation ISIS.
The Foreign Minister stated his concerns regarding developments in Ukraine and actions taken by Russia and reiterated that Iceland contributes to tasks that were agreed at the NATO Summit in September last year. To this end Iceland intends to strengthen its host nation support to the NATO air policing in Iceland and continue to provide Icelandic civilian expertise to NATO operations. The Foreign Minister stated his full support for steps taken to implement the Summit decisions, including NATO´s Readiness Action Plan that provides for enhanced presence of NATO forces on the territory of eastern Allies. Minister Sveinsson said that it is pertinent to react decisively to the rise of terrorist organisations such as ISIS in the Middle East, Northern-Afric and in Europe.
“We are faced with uncertainty and rapid changes to European security that remind us of past times. In light of this Iceland underscores the importance of Western cooperation and vibrant trans-Atlantic relations that remain key pillars of Iceland's Foreign policy” Foreign Minister Sveinsson said.
Foreign Minister Sveinsson and Secretary General Stoltenberg expressed their support for increased Nordic security and defence cooperation. The Minister stressed that NATO must maintain its knowledge and situational awareness in the North Atlantic. In that context Minister Sveinsson informed about a new draft resolution on a National Security Policy for Iceland that he has tabled in the Althingi, where Iceland's security interests in the Arctic are emphasised, as well as Iceland´s membership in NATO and the bilateral defence agreement with the United States.