Iceland’s foreign minister, Geir H. Haarde, addressed parliament yesterday, giving an overview of foreign affairs.
Concerning the US-Iceland defense negotiations he said:
“The Icelandic government is prepared to shoulder a substantial fractions of the operating expenses of Keflavik Airport for the reason that civilian traffic at the airport has increased considerably. The Icelandic government has also declared its interest in collaborating in the area of helicopter rescue and increase Iceland’s role in that matter. This would lead to increased expenses on both fronts and that fact demonstrates our sincere desire to find a solution. The overall objective is of course to ensure minimum defense preparedness in Iceland, which is in the interest of both countries and the whole of NATO, in keeping with the defense agreement of 1951 and its stipulation on the respective roles of each party.”