Foreign Minister of EFTA Nations Meet in Norway Skip to content

Foreign Minister of EFTA Nations Meet in Norway

Iceland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Össur Skarphédinsson attended a meeting with his counterparts in the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) in Hamar, Norway, this week, among other items discussing Iceland’s potential application to the European Union.

Skarphédinsson explained the status of EU membership discussions in Iceland and the country’s economic situation, and how Iceland intends to work its way out of the crisis.

It was decided that an additional EFTA summit would be held if Iceland’s Althingi parliament decides that Iceland should apply for EU membership, a press release from Iceland’s Foreign Ministry states.

Furthermore, increased emphasis on free trade agreements with the goal of making EFTA member states viable for competition on the international market was discussed at the meeting.

A free trade agreement between EFTA and the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf was signed in relation to the meeting.

A free trade agreement between EFTA and Canada will take effect on July 1 and free trade negotiations with the Ukraine, Serbia and Albania have been launched. An agreement with Peru is in the final stages and negotiations with India are going well.

At the meeting it was decided to launch free trade negotiations with Hong Kong and negotiations with Indonesia are likely to begin soon. The ministers agreed to continue to prepare negotiations with Russia and to explore the feasibility of making a free trade agreement with Vietnam.

Click here to read more about Iceland and the EU and here to read more about the EFTA meeting.

Photo: Courtesy of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

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