The European Union will not make remarks on commercial whaling in Iceland at the opening of the environmental chapter during the ongoing accession talks, as Icelandic Foreign Minister Össur Skarphéðinsson stated this week.
Whaling in Iceland. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.
“[On Wednesday] it was announced to me that when we assume negotiations on the environmental chapter they will not make it a condition that we will in some way have changed our approach to whaling before we negotiate, although many parties had made such a demand,” Össur said in an interview with RÚV.
Össur also said that he expected that the chapters on agriculture and fishing would open up early in the New Year and that the EU membership agreement would be completed by the parliamentary elections of 2013.
In other EU news, the minister met Irish Minister of State for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton yesterday. They discussed the EU’s actions to tackle the debt problems of certain member states and the outlook on the Eurozone, a press release states.
Creighton declared full support for Iceland’s membership to the EU. She added that Iceland and Ireland have many joint interests to preserve within the EU. The Irish take over the European Presidency in early 2013.