This morning, Foreign Minister Gudlaugur Thór Thórdarson met in Reykjavík with US Deputy Assistant Secretary, Mr. Benjamin Ziff, and expressed the Icelandic Government's regrets and grave concerns regarding the executive order of the President of the United States on imposing a ban on refugees and citizens of seven countries entering the United States.
At the meeting Foreign Minister Thórdarson also explained how the ban affected Icelandic citizens with dual citizenship who trace their origins to the countries affected by the ban.
"The President‘s executive order is a far cry from what we have come to expect from the United States and the values we share. This is very disappointing and therefore it is important to deliver this message clearly and directly," says Foreign Minister Thórdaraon. “A true friend will tell you the unvarnished truth“. He reminded that the United States have always, and more so than most others, welcomed immigrants, who have had a positive and decisive impact on the society. The executive order was a deviation from this.
The Foreign Minister also expressed his concern and disappointment with the US President's executive order to withhold funds from any international organizations, which support family planning by providing information on abortion or access to safe abortions.
"Access to safe abortions is an important human rights- and health issue and, therefore, this executive order is likewise a great disappointment´´ said Mr Thórdarson.
Also discussed at the meeting were issues relating to security and defence as well as the Arctic.