Iceland: first meeting with the new Foreign Minister
Brussels (13th June) – Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with the new Foreign Minister of Iceland Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson in Brussels on Thursday to discuss the future cooperation between the EU and Iceland after the new government changed its approach to the accession negotiations. After the meeting Commissioner Füle said to the media: "I appreciate that Minister´s the first trip abroad led to Brussels. This shows the strength of the relations that Iceland and the European Union have built so far.
We had a good and constructive discussion. I have enquired about the intentions of the new government of Iceland regarding European Union-Iceland relations. I have stressed that we respect the new approach to the accession process by the Icelandic government. At the same time I recalled that we remain fully committed to continuing and completing the process. Because our position has been clear all along:
• The unanimous decision of the European Union to open accession negotiations remains valid;
• We remain convinced about the benefits of close European Union- Iceland ties;
• We find the accession process to be the best framework for it;
• We do not only have the will, but also the capacity to see it through;
We are now awaiting the outcome of the Icelandic government's assessment of the status of the accession negotiations and developments within the European Union that will be presented to the Icelandic parliament. It is in the interest of the European Union and Iceland that the decision is taken on the basis of proper reflection. However, it is also in the interest of us all that this decision is not taken in an unlimited period of time."
Watch the video from the press conference here