New NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen met with Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir and Minister for Foreign Affairs Össur Skarphédinsson in Iceland yesterday. This is Fogh Rasmussen’s first visit to a NATO member country since taking office.
Foreign Minister Össur Skarphédinsson. Photo by Geir Ólafsson.
At the meeting, Sigurdardóttir criticized British authorities for having implemented the anti-terrorism act against Iceland, a NATO ally, to freeze the assets of Icelandic banks in the UK in the wake of the economic collapse in October last year, ruv.is reports.
According to Morgunbladid, Fogh Rasmussen appreciates Iceland’s contribution to NATO. “We know that Iceland is struggling economically at the moment, like other nations. But Iceland’s government has confirmed in its discussions with me that you will continue to contribute to NATO and that is enough for me.”
Skarphédinsson and Fogh Rasmussen discussed the Arctic regions, airspace patrolling and reviewing NATO’s basic policy. Skarphédinsson then expressed his content with the new secretary general in choosing Iceland for his first visit to a NATO member country, as stated in a press release from the Foreign Ministry.
Skarphédinsson also met with his Swedish counterpart Carl Bildt, who currently chairs the Council of the European Union, and Urmas Peat, the Estonian foreign minister. Bildt and Paet are in Iceland to attend the summit of the Nordic and Baltic foreign ministers, which is currently being held at the Blue Lagoon in Iceland.