US Secretary of State Meets with Icelandic Leaders. Skip to content

US Secretary of State Meets with Icelandic Leaders.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met with Icelandic Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir at Reykjavík’s Höfdi House on Friday afternoon.

According to Haarde and Gísladóttir, the US Secretary of State and the Icelandic leaders discussed various international matters, including concerns about Afghanistan and the Middle East, and possible ways in which to increase the number of women in positions of authority, a matter of importance to both Gísladóttir and Rice. Morgunbladid reports.

Also under discussion were international security matters and Iceland’s defense issues. According to Rice, the defenses of Iceland have been modernized since Icelanders are now in charge of their own defenses, yet the US is still honoring its commitment towards Iceland in relation to defenses.

At a press conference, Rice was asked if the Russian policy of increasing its spheres of influence in the Arctic was a matter of concern in Washington. Rice replied that there is some tension between Russian and US authorities in this area. “The US government believes it is very important to respect international laws and the Arctic should be an area of cooperation, not conflict,” Morgunbladid quotes Rice.

The Icelandic parliament, Althingi, recently passed a resolution to condemn human rights violations at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp . Minister for Foreign Affairs Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir presented Rice with the resolution on Althingi’s behalf.

Rice discussed the resolution at the press conference and stated that human rights were, in fact, upheld at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. She advised Iceland’s Members of Parliament to read a report on the Guantanamo Bay camp prepared by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) before drawing their conclusions. “It would be an interesting reading for your MPs. I will give it to you,” Morgunbladid quotes Rice as saying.

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