Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde announced yesterday that new solutions for Iceland’s defense will be discussed at NATO in the next few weeks.
Haarde made the announcement at a summit of NATO members in Riga, Latvia, which ended yesterday. He attended the summit with Foreign Minister Valgerdur Sverrisdóttir, Fréttabladid reports.
At the summit, Sverrisdóttir met ministers from Norway, Denmark, the UK and Canada and discussed Iceland’s changed position since the US military left the country at the end of September. The countries reportedly discussed the possibility of the neighboring countries to cooperate in defense affairs.
Sverrisdóttir and Norway’s Foreign Minister, Jonas Gahr Störe, announced they would meet in Iceland in mid-December to further discuss cooperation in security and defense between the two countries.
According to Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten, Norway’s Minister of Defense Anne-Grete Ström-Erichsen said the Norwegian government expects Iceland to take part in covering the cost of a possible cooperation in defense between Iceland and Norway.
It is further stated in the Aftenposten article, that until the US military left the country, Iceland has been used to getting outside defense more or less for free.
Undersecretary of the Danish Foreign Ministry Ulrik Federspiel and Sverrisdóttir agreed on a meeting between Icelandic and Danish ministers to speak about possible new solutions in Iceland’s defenses in the next few weeks.
Representatives from the British and Canadian governments also declared their interest to visit Iceland in the near future for talks on the country’s defenses.