Iceland’s Foreign Minister to visit Palestine Skip to content

Iceland’s Foreign Minister to visit Palestine

Foreign Minister Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir announced in parliament yesterday that she found it important for Iceland to establish normal relations with the Palestinian government and that she would visit the country.

Gísladóttir said she was planning to cooperate with Norway’s Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Störe on finding ways for Iceland to contribute to solutions to the Israel-Palestine conflict, Morgunbladid reports.

“I plan to visit the region to investigate how we can help more efficiently. We want to contribute to improving the situation there in the name of peace and human rights,” the Foreign Minister said.

Gísladóttir made her announcement following discussions on whether Iceland should recognize the Palestinian government. Leader of the Left-Greens (Vinstri graenir) Steingrímur J. Sigfússon recommended Iceland should do so and follow Norway’s example.

Bjarni Hardarson, MP for the Progressive Party (Framsóknarflokkurinn), pointed out that Iceland had been one of the first nations to recognize Israel as a state and to recognize Palestine as a state.

“When we recognized the state of Israel we recognized a state which based its military force on a guerilla organization. The Hamas organization has a difficult history; a history which is difficult for us to face. The PLO organization also had a difficult history, but we accepted it and we accepted Israel’s history,” Hardarson said.

Hardarson concluded Iceland should recognize the Palestinian government despite it being involved with the Hamas organization.

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