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Defense talks criticized for secrecy

By Iceland Review

The association of municipalities in the Sudurnes region, southwest Iceland, has harshly criticized Icelandic authorities for shrouding in secrecy discussions about the future of the US military base in the region. Authorities have not wanted to make public its ideas about the use of the base after the US military makes its final departure in just over two weeks. RÚV online reports.

Speculation has been rife about the arrangement of Iceland’s future defenses, what will happen to the military’s structures on the base and who will be responsible for the clearing and cleaning of the area, among other things. At times, no information has been provided as to where and when the negotiations are taking place, though last week it was announced the next meeting will be in Washington today.

An open discussion about Iceland’s demands, recommendations or ideas has not taken place. Public officials have stated that it is not appropriate for negotiations to be conducted in the media.

At least two reports have been written about pollution in the base area, one by the Sudurnes health authority and the other by the military’s environmental division. These reports have not been made public, so the amount of pollution in the area or the cost of cleaning it up is still unknown.

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