Iceland’s Foreign Minister at Conference on Libya Skip to content

Iceland’s Foreign Minister at Conference on Libya

ossurskarphedinsson_psIcelandic Minister for Foreign Affairs Össur Skarphédinsson attended a conference in London on Tuesday, where representatives from 50 states and international organizations met to discuss the situation in Libya.

There is disagreement within the Icelandic government on whether Iceland should support NATO’s military actions in Libya; all of the Left-Green ministers have declared they are against them.

“The leadership of the Left-Green Movement condemns all actions in Libya that are not consistent with the resolution of the UN Security Council. The UN’s authority only applies to the no-fly zone and actions to protect private citizens,” the party’s website reads.

“It is the Left-Green leadership’s steadfast belief that warfare doesn’t solve any problems but only increases the distress and indisposition of the nations subject to it. Iceland should never participate in or support such actions but rather contribute to peace by other means,” the declaration continues.

It concludes thus: “The Left-Green leadership declares support for the fight of private citizens in the Arab countries for democracy and human rights and against suppression and captivity.”

However, Skarphédinsson, who is a member of the Social Democrats, has declared that he, as foreign minister, has the mandate to decide what Iceland’s position will be in the affairs of Libya.



From the conference. Photos courtesy of the British Foreign Office.

The British government convened the London Conference on Libya, which included UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon, leaders of the Arab League, the European Union, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, NATO, along with the foreign ministers of most European countries, the United States, Canada and numerous Arab states, as stated on the website of the Icelandic Foreign Ministry.

There was a strong unity among participants on the necessity to support the Libyan nation in establishing peace and stopping Gaddafi’s warfare against the Libyan people.

The main conclusion of the conference was an agreement to resort to three measures: to enforce the UNSC resolutions on the no-fly zone over Libya, enforcing economic sanctions, arms embargo and protection of civilians; secondly to secure immediate humanitarian aid, and thirdly to support the Libyan nation with its infrastructure so it can build its own future on democratic governance.

It was decided that the United Nations would appoint a special representative to Libya immediately after the meeting to work on these measures. Also there was an agreement on establishing a special group which will continue to work on these tasks on behalf of the conference’s participants.

Click here to read more about the Left-Greens’ position on Libya.

Sign up for our weekly newsletter

Get news from Iceland, photos, and in-depth stories delivered to your inbox every week!

* indicates required

Subscribe to Iceland Review

In-depth stories and high-quality photography showcasing life in Iceland!

Share article