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Address by Mr. Össur Skarphédinsson, Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade
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Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, Foreign Minister of Iceland, met today with German Foreign Minister, Guido Westerwelle, in Berlin. In their meeting, the ministers discussed Arctic and security issues, EU and free trade. The Foreign Minister thanked the support and interest that Germans have expressed in Iceland and said it was much appreciated.


The ministers discussed the increased importance of the Arctic. They also went through security and defence issues, agreeing that the states have good relations, both bilaterally and internationally. Germany has participated twice in NATO's air policing missions in Iceland.

The ministers discussed the upcoming EU-US Free Trade negotiations and the Foreign Minister expressed Iceland's interest in following it closely.


Foreign Minister Sveinsson informed his counterpart of the government‘s decision to put accession negotiations on hold and what that entails. He said Iceland would like to strengthen its cooperation with  the EU and European cooperation within the EEA-agreement. Minister Westerwelle expressed his understanding of Iceland's position and willingness  to continue the good relations between the two states.


Foreign Minister Sveinsson is currently taking part in the State visit of the President of Iceland to Germany. Together they have met with Joachim Gauck President of Germany,  Angela Merkel, German Chancellor and  Norbert Lammert, President of the German Parliament, and participated in introductions of Icelandic companies.