News

Engilbert Guðmundsson

New Director General of the ICEIDA appointed - 21.12.2010

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ossur Skarphedinsson, has appointed Mr. Engilbert Gudmundsson to the position of Director General for the Icelandic International Development Agency (ICEIDA).

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Ambassador Kristin A. Arnadottir presents her credentials in Vietnam - 14.12.2010

On December 9, Ambassador Kristin A. Arnadottir presented her credentials to President Nguyen Minh Triet in Hanoi. Furthermore the Ambassador had meetings with the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Vice-Minister of Industry and Trade and the Vice Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries.

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Screening meeting on Free movement of goods concluded - 10.12.2010

The screening of chapter 1 – Free movement of goods – ended last Wednesday in Brussels. At the meeting, which lasted two days, experts from Iceland and the European Union compared the legislation in the chapter. The Icelandic team of experts was headed by Mrs. Bryndis Kjartansdottir, chairperson of the EEA I negotiations team.

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Iceland's negotiating committee introduced it´s summary on Icesave - 9.12.2010

Iceland's negotiation committee introduced in Reykjavík today, Thursday 8. December, it's summary on the outcome of the recent discussions on Icesave in London with British and Dutch committees on the matter.

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Screening meeting on Competition policy concluded - 7.12.2010

The Screening meeting between Iceland and the European Union on chapter 8 – Competition Policy - ended yesterday afternoon in Brussels. At the meeting, which lasted one day, experts from Iceland and the EU compared the legislation of the Competitive law which covers both anti-trust and state aid control policies. The experts discussed Iceland's implementation of regulations which fall under chapter 8, which is part of the EEA-Agreement.

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Study shows culture and creative industries as one of Iceland's biggest economic sectors - 3.12.2010

The study also shows that around 6% of the labour force is employed by the creative industries, which makes the creative class"one of the most populous in the country.

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Cooperation in advanced technology between Iceland and Japan - 23.11.2010

Iceland and Japan have decided to enhance cooperation between Icelandic and Japanese business enterprises in energy and advanced green technology. The decision was made during meetings between the Minister for Foreign Affairs Ossur Skarphedinsson and the Japanese ministers for foreign affairs and economy, trade and industry, as well as executive directors of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and investment funds in Japan. MORE...

Screening meeting on Information society and media concluded - 18.11.2010

The screening meeting between Iceland and the EU on chapter 10, Information society and media, was concluded yesterday. At the meeting, which lasted one day, experts from Iceland and the European Union compared the legislation in this chapter, which includes specific rules on electronic communications, on information society services and rules to protect children against harmful television material.

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Screening meeting on Company law concluded  - 17.11.2010

Screening meeting, between Iceland and European Union on chapter 6 of the EU acquis, Company law, ended yesterday in Brussels. At the meeting, which went on over the day, experts from Iceland and the European Union compared the legislation of chapter 6.

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First screening meeting between Iceland and the EU - 15.11.2010

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Today, the first screening meeting between experts from Iceland and the EU Commission took place in Brussels. The screening meetings are part of the preparation for the forthcoming negotiations on Iceland's membership of the EU. 

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EU issues Progress Report on Iceland - 9.11.2010

The report assesses economic and political development in Iceland from February to October 2010, and recapulates the issues that need to be addressed in the upcoming accession talks. MORE...
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Furthering Nordic cooperation in foreign affairs and security policy - 3.11.2010

Statement of the Foreign Ministers of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden in Reykjavik on 3 November 2010 on matters of common interest in the area of foreign affairs and security policy.

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Foreign Minster meets with Russia's Foreign Minister - 2.11.2010

The Minister for Foreign Affairs Ossur Skarphedinsson met with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov  today in Oslo, Norway.

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Gender equality for a more peaceful world - 30.10.2010

The five Nordic Foreign Ministers write on the occasion of the 10 year anniversary of UNSC Resolution 1325 on gender equality and peace and security, MORE...
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Japan-Iceland Geothermal Forum November 16 2010 - 29.10.2010

Based on the geothermal cooperation between Japan and Iceland, the Japan-Iceland Geothermal Forum 2010 presents an update from leading experts in geothermal energy development and utilization issues on the experiences and future challenges in Iceland, Japan and relevant developing countries.

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Over 400 graduates of the UN University Geothermal Training Programme - 22.10.2010

The guiding principle for Iceland´s international development cooperation is to contribute in areas where Iceland has specific expertise and knowledge to offer and geothermal power generation features prominently in such considerations.

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Össur Skarphéðinsson attends a NATO meeting of Ministers of Defence and of Foreign Affairs in Brussels - 14.10.2010

Today, Mr. Össur Skarphedinsson, Minister for Foreign Affairs, attended a joint North Atlantic Council in Foreign and Defence Ministers Session in Brussels. The agenda covered the new Strategic Concept, which the NATO Secretary General presented in a draft. The meeting also covered final preparations for the NATO Summit.

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Iceland and Canada sign an agreement on defense cooperation - 14.10.2010

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Össur Skarphéðinsson, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Peter G. MacKay, Canadian Minister of National Defence, signed an agreement on defence cooperation yearlier today.

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Emphasis on Europe - 11.10.2010

O.S.-I-Tallinn-2010Össur Skarphéðinsson, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland, met Friday with his Estonian counterpart, Urmas Paet, in the Estonian capital, Tallinn. The ministers discussed bilateral relations and security and defense issues. They also discussed the status of Iceland's accession talks with the European Union and Iceland's main interests in the negotiations.  MORE...

Foreign Minister Skarphedinsson addresses EU-Iceland Joint Parliamentary Committee - 5.10.2010

Ossur Skarphedinsson, Minister for Foreign Affairs, today addressed the 1st meeting of the EU-Iceland Joint Parliamentary Committee in Reykjavik MORE...

Skarphedinsson meets with Foreign Minister Yeo - 5.10.2010

Össur Skarphedinsson, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland, met today with George Yeo, Foreign Minister of Singapore in Reykjavik MORE...

Foreign Minister focuses on human rights, climate change and economy at UN General Assembly - 27.9.2010

Össur Skarphéðinsson, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland, urged Israel not to prevent humanitarian assistance from reaching the needy in Gaza and asked president Ahmadinejad of Iran to spare the life of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, in his speech at the 65. General Assembly of the United Nations

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Minister encourages increased cooperation between Russia and NATO - 23.9.2010

In his speech at the meeting of the NATO-Russia council at the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York, Icelandic Foreign Minister Ossur Skarphedinsson focused on increased cooperation between NATO and Russia, and emphasized the shared interests between the two in numerous fields MORE...

Visit of Slovak President and Foreign Minister to Iceland - 20.9.2010

Slovakia's experience of accession negotiations and membership of the European Union, as well as the effect of financial crisis on Europe's economy, were the main topics of a working lunch, hosted by Icelandic Foreign Minister Össur Skarphéðinsson, for Slovak President Ivan Gašparovic and Slovak Foreign Minister, Mikuláš Dzurinda. MORE...

Icelandic government contributes aid to Pakistan - 17.8.2010

At a cabinet meeting this morning the Minister for Foreign Affairs informed that ISK 23 million will be contributed to emergency aid in areas impacted by the monsoon floods in Pakistan. The floods, the worst in more than 80 years, have affected millions of Pakistanis nationwide.

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Iceland EU accession negotiations formally opened - 27.7.2010

Iceland's accession negotiations with the European Union were formally opened today at the first intergovernmental conference in Brussels. Icelandic Minister for Foreign Affairs, Össur Skarphédinsson, participated on Iceland's behalf in the conference, hosted by the Belgian Presidency of the EU.

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Foreign Minister, Össur Skarphedinsson attends EU-Iceland Accession Conference - 26.7.2010

Össur Skarphedinsson, Minister for Foreign Affairs will be traveling to Brussels Today, where he is to participate in the Intergovernmental Conference on 27 July 2010, which marks the start of the negotiations on Iceland's accession to The European Union. The Conference will to take place after the meeting of EU's Foreign Ministers.

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Minister for Foreign Affairs visits China - 13.7.2010

In a one-hour long meeting with Xi Jinping, Vice President of the People's Republic of China, in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing today, the Icelandic Minister for Foreign Affairs, Össur Skarphéðinsson, proposed a formal agreement between China and Iceland on co-operation in the field of geothermal development in developing countries, especially in East Africa, which is rich in geothermal resources.

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Skarphedinsson meets with the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Hungary - 9.7.2010

Össur Skarphéðinsson, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland, met this morning with János Martonyi, Hungarian Foreign Minister and Pal Schmitt, Speaker of the Parliament and newly elected president. Today marks an end to a three day official visit of the Icelandic Foreign Minister to Croatia and Hungary.

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MEPs back Iceland's EU membership bid - 7.7.2010

The prospect of Iceland becoming a new EU Member State is welcomed in a resolution adopted on Wednesday by the European Parliament. MEPs expect that the new EP-Iceland Joint Parliamentary Committee between the EP and the Althingi (Icelandic Parliament) will enhance an existing "fruitful collaboration" between the two sides.

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Icelandic Foreign Minister meets with his Croatian counterpart and president Josipovic - 7.7.2010

Össur Skarphedinsson, Minister for Foreign affairs of Iceland, met yesterday in Zagreb with Gordan Jandrokovic, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Croatia and Ivo Josipovic, President of Croatia. Later in the morning Mr. Skarphedinsson visited the Croatian Parliament and met with Luka Bebic, Speaker of the Parliament.

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Promote Iceland formally established - 29.6.2010

Promote Iceland (Islandsstofa) was formally established today. The aim is to strengthen Iceland's image and reputation, to strengthen the competitiveness of Icelandic businesses abroad and to encourage foreign tourists and investors to visit Iceland

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EFTA Ministerial meeting: Free Trade Agreement signed with Ukraine - 25.6.2010

The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) held its summer Ministerial meeting in Reykjavik, Iceland, chaired by Össur Skarphéðinsson, Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade of Iceland,  marking the 50th anniversary of EFTA MORE...

Professor Jagdish Bhagwati on the Climate Change Treaty - 21.6.2010

Economist Jagdish Bhagwati, Professor at Columbia University, will give an open lecture on climate change; ,,After Copenhagen: Designing the Climate Change Treaty" Thursday 24 June at 12:00-13:00 at the University of Iceland, Háskólatorg MORE...

Deputy Minister Titov of Russia meets Minister Skarphedinsson - 21.6.2010

Vladimir Titov, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Russia, met today with Össur Skarphédinsson, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland. MORE...

European Council decides to open negotiations with Iceland - 17.6.2010

The European Council decided today that negotiations should be opened for Iceland's accession to the European Union.  The decision follows a positive opinion by the European Commission in February 2010 on Iceland's application

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He Guoqiang visits Iceland - 9.6.2010

Mr. He Guoqiang, Member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, visits Iceland on 9-10 June.

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Icelanders get online for an invitiation to visit Iceland - 2.6.2010

Tomorrow, Thursday 3 June, Icelanders will gather together online to show the world their country is open for business, open for excitement and hoping to inspire the world MORE...

Iceland condemns Israeli raid on Gaza convoy - 31.5.2010

The Foreign Minister joines the European Union, the United Nations and others in demanding an thorough investigation into the raid

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Briefings about Iceland in eight European countries - 26.5.2010

Briefings emphasizing Iceland as an unique tourist destination, following the volcanic eruption in Eyjafjallajökull, will be held in eight European countries this week. MORE...

Annual report on foreign affairs - 14.5.2010

Ossur Skarphedinsson, Minister for Foreign Affairs, delivered today his annual report on foreign affairs to the Icelandic Parliament.

Read his speech to parliament by clicking here

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10.000 visit the Icelandic Pavilion at EXPO 2010 each day - 3.5.2010

Due to popular demand, spectacular volcano shots showing the most recent volcano eruption in Iceland have been added to the Icelandic Pavilion movie exhibition. MORE...

German Parliament approves opening accession talks with Iceland - 23.4.2010

On 22 April 2010, the German Parliament approved EU accession talks with Iceland. This is the first time that a national parliament has voted on the application of an aspirant member of the EU, but the Bundestag adopted new legislation to that end after the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty.

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The flight zone for Keflavik Airport is closed 23 April - 23.4.2010

With a  view to the ash distribution forecast  for Friday 23 April the flight zone for Keflavik and Reykjavík Airports have been closed  for a certain period of time, see The Icelandic Civil Aviation Administration. In Iceland there are four international Airports,  Keflavík,  Reykjavík, Akureyri and Egilsstaðir. It is not expected that the ash distribution will reach Akureyri or Egilsstaðir and these two airports will be open for all air traffic. Passengers are asked to monitor flight schedules closely on travel industry web sites.

Information about the volcanic eruption in southern Iceland - 21.4.2010

The affects of the eruption in Eyjafjallajökull in southern Iceland are regional and bound to a limited part of the south coast of Iceland. The Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management has for precautionary reasons issued guidelines for the public and farmers in region with information on protection against ash fall. The Icelandic version of the guide is based on "The Health Hazards of Volcanic Ash" issued by the International Volcanic Health Hazard Network which is available here.

Information for airline passengers due to the volcanic eruption - 18.4.2010

The volcanic eruption in the glacier Eyjafjallajokull in South Iceland has disrupted air traffic and resulted in many foreign travelers and Icelanders living abroad not having been able to get to their destinations in time. The Consular Affairs Unit of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs urges people to monitor instructions from airlines and travel agencies. Information from Icelandic airlines and civil aviation authorities can be found here. It is also important for travelers to familiarize themselves with the rights of airline passengers that can be found at the Icelandic Civil Aviation Administration's website.

Extension of Schengen visas due to airport closures - 18.4.2010

If your Schengen visas is expiring and you cannot leave Iceland because of aiport closures, you can get your visa extended at the Icelandic Directorate for Immigrationo at Skógarhlíð 6, Reykjavík. You need to bring your passport and one passport size photo. See www.utl.is.

Conference on EU´s Support for Regional Policy - 16.4.2010

On 15 April, the Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Association of Local Authorities in Iceland, and the EU Commission co-hosted a conference on the European Union's regional policy and employment issues.

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Second day of volcanic eruption under Eyjafjallajökull glacier - 15.4.2010

Volcanic ash fall and risk of flooding main causes of concern MORE...

Update on the new volcanic eruption in Southern Iceland - 14.4.2010

Travelling restrictions are in the area around Eyjafjallajökull glacier, where a volcanic eruption began last night. Travellers in the south of Iceland are advised to exercise caution, follow instructions and not to enter restricted areas MORE...