Americans walk out after Speech by Icelandic Member of Althingi Skip to content

Americans walk out after Speech by Icelandic Member of Althingi

According to Fréttabladid, representatives of the United States walked out of a meeting of Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly after Dagný Jónsdóttir, a member of Iceland’s parliament, criticized how the US had notified Icelandic authorities that the American base in Keflavík would be closed.

Dagný especially noted the short notice with which the American base would be closed. (On March 15, US Deputy Secretary of State Nicholas Burns phoned then Icelandic Foreign minister Geir Haarde and informed him that the US government had decided to pull its fighter jets and helicopter rescue squadron out of Iceland before October. Previously talks had been conducted at the highest level between Iceland’s Prime Minister and the President of the United States. Icelandic pundits said, “At least they did not end it by sending an SMS.”)

Both Dagný Jónsdóttir and Minister of Foreign Affairs Valgerdur Sverrisdóttir are members of the Progressive party. Dagný said in her speech that the United States’ behavior was not in good taste, especially considering that Icelanders had been strong supporters and allies of the US over the years.

Dagný said that she had previously taken up the matter in a committee meeting but the US representatives had shown no reaction. “I pointed out the security situation in the North Atlantic after the US had left Iceland,” Dagný says in an interview with Fréttabladid. In the final meeting of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, Dagný raised the matter again, receiving reactions from the Russians, Canadians, British and Scandinavian representatives, but there was still no word from US representatives.

“I don’t know whether it was a coincidence but as soon as I finished my speech [the US representatives] walked out of the meeting room,” Dagný Jónsdóttir said.

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