MP Wants Referendum on NATO Membership Skip to content

MP Wants Referendum on NATO Membership

MP for the Left-Greens Ögmundur Jónasson plans to submit a bill for a referendum on Iceland’s membership to NATO when parliament reconvenes for the autumn, reports.

Ögmundur spoke with Bylgjun radio this morning.“I have argued in recent years that NATO is not a partnership that suits Icelanders,” he said. According to Ögmundur, there has been a change in the nature of the alliance … when the basic notion stated in NATO’s pact that an attack on one country is an attack on other countries was abandoned.

“Iceland should not take a position in this context,” he said, adding that statements from the current government on foreign policy issues, for example in the case of Ukraine, are particularly risky.

Ögmundur argues that Iceland should not be neutral in the international arena but should rather form foreign policy on its own terms.

He said that he would prefer to contribute the money which currently goes to NATO to the United Nations.

Secretary General of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen said during a recent trip to Iceland that the country played a “crucial” role in NATO. “In these unpredictable times, we need NATO more than ever. I count on Iceland’s support as we make the alliance even fitter, faster and more flexible,” he said.

During his stay, Rasmussen met individually with both Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson and Minister for Foreign Affairs Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson.

Rasmussen’s primary reason for the visit was reportedly to discuss plans for the NATO summit, to be held in Wales later this month, and which will primarily focus on the shift in allegiances which occurred following Russia’s invasion of Crimea earlier this year.

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