In a joint press conference by Iceland’s Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde and Norway’s Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere it was revealed that Norway would consider assisting Iceland and Britain in solving the Icesave dispute.
“The issue has stirred strong emotions in both countries and Norway does not wish to take stand with either country. But if these two good friends of ours ask for our help in the [discussion] process, we will not say no,” Gahr Stoere told Morgunbladid.
Gahr Stoere (left) meets Murphy in Reykjavík. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.
Gahr Stoere followed up on that offer by having a short meeting with Minister for Scotland James Murphy who is currently in Reykjavík on a brief visit. Murphy also met with Iceland’s Prime Minister Haarde.
Haarde is positive towards Norway’s potential participation in the Icesave discussions. “I think it could only be positive because they enjoy trust and respect from everyone, both Iceland and Britain, and take a real interest in solving such a dispute because it is also in their interest.”
Haarde said it is too early to say what possible assistance from Norway would involve. “They have to study the issue in depth and realize what it centers on.”
“When there is no solution in sight in discussions between states which are both governed by law, and when one of these states has used very harsh reprisals against the other, then it can prove necessary to include a third party to loosen up the discussions,” Haarde added.