Icelanders will not force the US to maintain its military presence should they wish withdraw said prime minister Halldór Ásgrímsson at a meeting of the central committee of the Progressive Party Friday night.
According to the Icleandic National Broadcasting Service, Halldór said that the US needed to speak clearly and take the initiative on Iceland’s defenses. He said that Icelanders would not tolerate the status quo. He plans closer cooperation with the European nations. He said he was not hopeful that a solution regarding the defense issues would be found in the coming months.
The prime minister said it was unacceptable that the agreement on Iceland’s defenses had taken five years and was still not concluded. He said that the current US proposals mean in effect that Iceland would pay not only the operation of Keflavík airport but also the defenses.