Icelandic Minister for Foreign Affairs Össur Skarphédinsson met his Polish counterpart, Radoslaw Sikorski, in Warsaw yesterday. Poland will take over the leadership of the European Council on July 1, 2011, and it is assumed that a few chapters of Iceland’s membership talks with the European Union will open during Poland’s chairmanship.
Skarphédinsson (left) and Sikorski. Photo courtesy of the Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
The ministers discussed the progress of the membership talks, to which Sikorski declared full support. Skarphédinsson also requested Poland’s support in discussions on necessary solutions regarding the fishing industry, a press release from Iceland’s Foreign Ministry states.
The ministers also discussed the relations between Iceland and Poland, especially the important contribution of the 12,000 person-strong Polish community in Iceland. Skarphédinsson thanked Sikorski for Poland’s varied support, such as Poland’s loan to Iceland in November 2008.
From left to right: Landsbergis, Skarphédinsson and Azubalis by the memorial shield. Photo courtesy of the Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
On Saturday, Skarphédinsson visited Lithuania’s capital Vilinius where, along with Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Audronius Azubalis, he unveiled a memorial to the Icelandic parliament Althingi’s declaration of support for Lithuania’s independence on February 11, 1991.
Iceland was the first country in the world to recognize Lithuania’s independence.
Vytautas Landsbergis, the former president of the Lithuanian parliament, and many other individuals who led the country’s fight for independence in the early 1990s, attended the ceremony.
In his address, Skarphédinsson said Iceland was proud of having been able to contribute and emphasized that the friendship forged between the two countries 20 years ago was still strong.