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Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Iceland Committed to Afghanistan

Ambassador Hjálmar W. Hannesson, Iceland's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, outlined Iceland's support for reconstruction in Afghanistan in a recent speech at the U.N. Security Council. The Ambassador told the Council that Iceland was ready to manage the transition of Kabul International Airport so that Afghan authorities can take over the running of the airport from NATO.

Ambassador Hannesson outlined Iceland's contribution to reconstruction in Afghanistan in his speech to the Security Council. Iceland currently has two persons in the NATO Headquarters in Kabul. One is a political advisor in the Special Representative's office, mainly focusing on the Aviation Sector of Afghanistan. The other is Chief Administrator in the Public Information Office, dealing with media and internal information for NATO Headquarters.

Furthermore, Iceland currently holds six positions at Kabul Airport, and as of 1 April, there will be 7 positions manned by Icelanders. The staff deployed to Kabul International Airport mainly work on overseeing maintenance, operations and support at the airport and the camp at Kabul International Airport. They deal with engineering, logistics, motor pool, billeting and overview of the manpower of the airport to name a few tasks.

"Iceland is currently in co-operation with NATO looking into how the transition of the airport to Afghan authorities can be prepared, by starting training of local staff. This is a part of a bigger overall plan for Kabul International Airport as such, and requires the assistance of many international organisations, such as ICAO. Iceland will follow closely the preparation for such a transition and is ready to commit more people to work within such a transition and even manage it," said Ambassador Hannesson.

Iceland has also deployed a development officer in the PRT in Chagcharan for some time, working on various projects and assisting local government in their recunstuction of the district.

Ambassador Hannesson's speech to the U.N. Security Council on 20 March 2007.


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