NATO Calls Off British Defense Mission to Iceland Skip to content

NATO Calls Off British Defense Mission to Iceland

Foreign Minister Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir announced during a press conference on Friday that the British military’s air patrol in Iceland in December had been called off, which was supposed to be undertaken on behalf of NATO.

“This decision was made within NATO,” Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde explained, adding that it had probably been the best solution considering the circumstances, and that Iceland respected NATO’s decision on this matter, Morgunbladid reports.

Haarde denied that the Icesave dispute, on which an agreement was reached on Sunday, had anything to do with it.

The agreement between Iceland and other NATO members states on air patrol had not been canceled in its entirety, Haarde stated, only Britain’s participation in the program in the coming December.

Gísladóttir said that NATO had been informed of discussions in Iceland’s parliament regarding Anglo-Icelandic relations and of people’s concerns about the planned exercises of the British military. The Foreign Minister stated that public opinion in Iceland suggested that these exercises should not be undertaken.

Haarde added that Iceland had requested reducing costs for their part in the air patrol and military exercise program of NATO member states in Iceland.

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