Hopes Report on Iceland-Greenland Relation Marks Turning Point Skip to content

Hopes Report on Iceland-Greenland Relation Marks Turning Point

By Gréta Sigríður Einarsdóttir

Minister Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarsson.
Photo: Golli. Minister Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarsson..

Former Minister of Foreign Affairs Össur Skarphéðinsson officially handed in a new report on “Iceland and Greenland’s cooperation in the new Arctic” yesterday, requested by the current Minister of Foreign Affairs Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson. The report includes several propositions to strengthen the two countries’ cooperation, and Guðlaugur Þór stated that he considered the report to mark a turning point in cooperation between the two nations.

Guðlaugur Þór stated that it had been his opinion for a long time that the cooperation between the two countries was something to strengthen and that both the people of Greenland and Iceland agreed. A lot had been done but he had thought that a roadmap on how to effectively strengthen communication was lacking. “It’s always been important but now it’s vital. There’s no doubt and anyone who reads the report will see that it’s a complete work including 99 proposals.” Guðlaugur stated that the report covered the history of communication and the status of certain cooperative issues. The minister of foreign affairs appointed the committee in 2019 and got Össur Skarphéðinsson, former minister of foreign affairs to chair it. Other representative included Unnur Brá Konráðsdóttir and Óttarr Guðlaugsson. The report was written in cooperation with people from Greenland and the plan is for Guðlaugur Þór and Steen Lynge, who’s in charge of foreign affairs in the Greenland national government, to present the report at the Arctic roundtable next autumn.

Guðlaugur Þór stated that he and Lynge will work an a framework agreement between the countries with stated goals in certain cooperative fields. “I have also started work on a parliamentary resolution declaring Iceland’s will and goal of increasing cooperation between the two countries.”

Össur Skarphéinsson stated that Greenland was currently in an advancing spirit, with growing community strength and blossoming industry. Developments were ongoing for the nations’ cooperation in projects connected to businesses, flight-related services and fishing industries. The report mapped the cooperation and included suggestions that would bring mutual political and economical gain. Changes to the Arctic meant that the position of Iceland and Greenland was altered and that it was normal to work together.

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