News

Government Action Plan for Household Debt Relief - 1.12.2013

The Icelandic government yesterday announced an action plan aimed at reducing the country's housing debt. Firstly, the principal of indexed housing mortgages is to be written down and, secondly, tax breaks are proposed for private pension savings contributions originating after the action is implemented. It will be possible to apply private pension savings to reduce the mortgage principal; this route will be open to all housing mortgage holders regardless of the form of their mortgage.  MORE...

EEA extended to Croatia - 20.11.2013

Agreed minutes were signed in Brussels today, to mark the conclusion of an agreement on Croatia's membership of the EEA  The agreement will enter into force once legal procedures are completed by EU and Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein MORE...
Formennskubæklingurinn

Launch of Iceland‘s Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2014 - 29.10.2013

Emphasis on green growth and sustainable development, creative industries and the Nordic welfare system.

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Statement by the Foreign Minister on enlargement - 18.10.2013

Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, MInister for Foreign Affairs, does not fully share EU Commissioner Fule's assessment on how far the accession negotiations had progressed when they were put on hold.

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Challenging policy question to seek balance between conservation and utilization in the Arctic - 14.10.2013

The Icelandic Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, addressed the Arctic Circle Assembly in Reykjavik today where he gave a broad overview of Iceland´s priorities and the future of Arctic cooperation

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Responsibility to ensure protection of human rights rests with politicians, says Minister at UNGA - 2.10.2013

Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade, addressed the 68th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations on 30 September 2013 MORE...

Foreign Minister on a new UN Development Framework - 26.9.2013

Iceland‘s Foreign Minister, Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, took part in yesterday‘s special event on achieving the Millienum Development goals and on a new development framework, at the UN General Assembly MORE...

Minister welcomes chair of NATO's Military Committee - 20.9.2013

Foreign Minister Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson met yesterday with General Knud Bartels, chairman of NATO‘s Military Committee. At the meeting they discussed the future of the Alliance, the Middle East, NATO air surveillance missions in Iceland, cyber-security and security in the Arctic.

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Foreign Minister discusses trade, security and the Arctic during Canada visit - 19.9.2013

Foreign Minister Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson visited Ottawa Canada on 17-18 September where he met with Canadian officials and representatives of the Canadian business community. The visit is in keeping with the Icelandic Government's emphasis on strengthening the transatlantic relationship MORE...

Foreign Minister welcomes agreement on the destruction of chemical weapons - 17.9.2013

Foreign Minister Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson welcomes the agreement between the United States and the Russian Federation on the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria. MORE...
Alþingisgarður

EU Membership application discussed in Parliament - 12.9.2013

The Icelandic Government has a positive and ambitious vision on European issues and wishes to strenghten its relations with the EU without becoming member of the Union, according to Mr Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, Minister for Foreign Affairs, in his oral statement on the EU membership application to the Parliament today. 

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Iceland increases assistance to Syrian refugees - 11.9.2013

The Minister for Foreign Affairs has contributed 50 thousand USD to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR, towards their Regional Response Plan for Syrian refugees. MORE...

International community must act on Syria - 3.9.2013

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, today took part in a meeting of the Nordic and Baltic foreign ministers in Visby in Sweden. After the meeting the eight ministers expressed grave concern over the use of chemical weapons in Syria

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Iceland Chairs Open Skies Consultative Commission - 3.9.2013

Yesterday, Iceland assumed Chairmanship in the Open Skies Consultative Commission (OSCC), based in Vienna. A total of 34 states are parties to the Open Skies Treaty (OST), negotiated in 1992, including the United States, Russia, Canada and several European states.

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The Government of Iceland deplores the loss of life and condemns all acts of violence in Egypt - 22.8.2013

The Government of Iceland deplores the loss of life witnessed in recent weeks in Egypt and has urged the Egyptian Government to do everything possible to prevent further bloodshed. Iceland condems all acts of violence. MORE...

Statement by the Government of Iceland on EU threats against the Faroe Islands and Iceland  - 16.8.2013

Iceland is a major stakeholder in relation to the management of various shared fish stocks in the North-East Atlantic. Icelandic fisheries management policy has for many years assured the sustainable utilisation of marine resources, unlike the EU common fisheries policy. 

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Iceland first country to ratify the UN Arms Trade Treaty - 2.7.2013

Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, Foreign Minister of Iceland, announced today that Iceland had ratified the new UN Arms Trade Treaty, ATT, the first country to ratify this important treat

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Ban Ki-moon visits Iceland, meets with Foreign Minister - 2.7.2013

The meeting marked the start of the UN Secretary General's official visit to Iceland. Sustainable use of resources and the impact of climate changes were among issues discussed. MORE...

Foreign Minister meets with German counterpart in Berlin - 26.6.2013

Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, Foreign Minister of Iceland, met today  with German Foreign Minister, Guido Westerwelle. In their meeting, the ministers discussed Arctic and security issues, EU and free trade.

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Iceland to open Consulate General in Nuuk on 1 July - 25.6.2013

The main role of the Consulate will be to strengthen the business connection between Iceland and Greenland, to increase cultural relations and tasks related to Artic cooperation. MORE...

Iceland elected to FAO Council 2014-2017 - 24.6.2013

Iceland was elected Friday as a member nation to the Food and Agriculture Organization Council, FAO, for 2014 – 2017.

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Electronic publication: Gender Equality in Iceland's Development Cooperation and Iceland´s second NAP on implementing UNSCR 1325 - 21.6.2013

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has published two new policy documents; Gender Equality in Iceland´s Development Cooperation and a National Action Plan for the implementation of UNSCR 1325. Both documents are formulated in line with the Strategy for Iceland´s Development Cooperation 2013-2016, where gender equality and women´s empowerment is emphasised. MORE...

Minister Sveinsson meets with UK's Minister for Europe - 20.6.2013

Foreign minister Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson met yesterday with UK's Minister for Europe, David Lidington. Minister Sveinsson explained the Icelandic Government's decision to put further accession negotiations with the European Union on hold, and what that entails.  Mr. Lidington spoke of the current dialogue in the UK regarding the country's future relationship with the EU and the Government stand on the matter. MORE...

Minister Sveinsson meets with Stefan Füle - 13.6.2013

H.E. Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, Iceland‘s Minister for Foreign Affairs, met today in Brussels with Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule. The Minister informed the Commissioner of the decision of Iceland‘s new Government to put Iceland's EU-accession negotiations on hold and not to continue them without a prior referendum.

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Minister Sveinsson meets with the NATO Secretary General - 13.6.2013

Foreign Minister Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson visited NATO headquarters in Brussels today, where he met with the NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
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Embassy in Moscow takes over issuing of visas for Iceland - 4.6.2013

Applications for visas continue to be received at the VFS Global service centres in St. Petersburg and Moscow.

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Political Advisor to the Minister - 3.6.2013

Margrét Gísladóttir has been appointed as a Political Advisor to Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson,  Minister for Foreign Affairs MORE...

New Minister for Foreign Affairs - 23.5.2013

A new Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, took office today, replacing Mr. Össur Skarphéðinsson.

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New Icelandic Government takes office - 23.5.2013

A Government of the Progressive Party and the Independence Party has been formed and took office today.

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The Arctic States sign an agreement on Marine Oil Pollution Preparedness and Response - 20.5.2013

An agreement on Cooperation on Marine Oil Pollution Preparedness and Response was signed, Wednesday 15 May, at the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting in Kiruna, Sweden MORE...

Gender Equality Studies and Training Programme (GEST) Joins the UN University Network - 16.5.2013

A trilateral agreement between the University of Iceland, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Iceland and the UN Universities (UNU) has been signed, formalising the Gender Equality Studies and Training Programme's (GEST) membership in the UNU network.

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An Icelandic-Arctic Chamber of Commerce - 30.4.2013

A MoU on the establishment of an Icelandic-Arctic Chamber of Commerce has been signed, formal launch planned for Mid-May.
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Undirritun fríverslunarsamnings Íslands og Kína

Iceland First European Country to Sign Free Trade Agreement with China - 15.4.2013

A Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Iceland and China was signed today in Beijing by Mr. Össur Skarphéðinsson, Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade of Iceland, and Mr. Gao Hucheng, Minister of Commerce of the People's Republic of China, in the presence of the Prime Minister of Iceland and the Premier of China.

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Iceland to Join the NATO Cyber Defence Centre in Tallinn - 12.4.2013

Foreign Minister Össur Skarphéðinsson announced Iceland's decision to join the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in Tallinn during a meeting on 10 April with Estonia's Foreign Minister, Urmas Paet.

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Estonia offers Iceland facilities in Beijing - 27.3.2013

Yesterday the Foreign Ministers of Iceland and Estonia, Össur Skarphéðinsson and Urmas Paet, signed a cooperation agreement regarding the location of the Icelandic Embassy in Estonia´s chancery building in Beijing

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Minister announces contract for building Iceland's first platform supply vessel - 20.3.2013

Today, at a meeting in Fosnavåg, Norway, Foreign Minister Össur Skarphéðinsson announced that a private Icelandic oil service company had made a contract for building Iceland's first platform supply vessel for servicing oil search and offshore fields north of Iceland

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Observer applications reflecting Arctic Council strength - 19.3.2013

Foreign Ministers Össur Skarphéðinsson, and Carl Bildt, met in Iceland on Monday, discussing future developments in the Arctic and the necessity for the Arctic nations to prepare for increased activities and rising worldwide interest in the region. MORE...

Foreign Minister meets with Director of Polar institute of China - 18.3.2013

In a meeting in Reykjavik on 15 March, Foreign Ministers Össur Skarphéðinsson and Dr. Huigen Yang, Director of the Polar Research Institute of China, Shanghai, discussed the potential of  opening of sea routes across the Arctic Ocean. MORE...

Increased emphasis on cooperation with states and institutions on geothermal issues - 6.3.2013

Foreign Minister Össur Skarphéðinsson and Dr. Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Managing Director of the World Bank, spoke at the opening of an international geothermal conference in Reykjavik, where Dr. Mulyani announced the launching of a Global Geothermal Development Plan  with the goal to mobilize $500 million.

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Foreign Minister and World Bank Managing Director discuss geothermal issues - 5.3.2013

Foreign Minister, Össur Skarphéðinsson, met with Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Managing Director at the World Bank during her visit to Iceland. She is a keynote speaker at the Iceland Geothermal Conference 2013 which is held in Reykjavik on March 5-8.

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Foreign Ministers of Iceland and Lithuania meet - 19.2.2013

Foreign Minister Össur Skarphéðinsson met with Linas Linkevicius, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, in Brussels on February 18. MORE...

Increased emphasis on Arctic affairs within the Northern Dimension - 19.2.2013

Össur Skarphéðinsson, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, emphasised  that Arctic affairs should have more prominence within the Northern Dimension at the initiative's meeting in Brussels. MORE...

Annual report on foreign and international affairs by the Minister for Foreign Affairs - 19.2.2013

Össur Skarphéðinsson, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland, has submitted his annual report on foreign and international affairs to the Icelandic parliament, Althingi, his fifth since he took office in early 2009

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Launch of Icelandic Arctic Cooperation Network and arrival of first Nansen Professor - 12.2.2013

The main aim of the IACN is to increase the visibility and understanding of Arctic issues and create a link between the institutes and individuals working on those issues in Iceland. IACN's first director is Embla Eir Oddsdóttir, who has extensive experience in the field of Arctic research. MORE...

Letter of Credence presented in Phnom Penh - 7.2.2013

Ambassador Kristin A. Arnadottir presented a Letter of Credence to Heng Samrin, Chairman of the National Assembly of Cambodia, residing in Beijing, on 28 January 2013 in Phnom Penh. MORE...

Iceland welcomes acquittal in Icesave case  - 28.1.2013

The EFTA Court ruling on Icesave rejected all claims by the EFTA Surveillance Authority that Iceland should be declared in breach of the EEA Agreement. The Court rejected the claim that Iceland has breached the Deposit Guarantee Directive or has discriminated against depositors contrary to EEA law. It is a considerable satisfaction that Iceland´s defence has won the day in the Icesave case; the EFTA Court ruling brings to a close an important stage in a long saga.

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Minister Skarphéðinsson meets with Irish Minister for European Affairs - 23.1.2013

The Ministers discussed EU Affairs, mackerel and Icesave.
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Permanent Secretariat of Arctic Council established in Tromsoe - 22.1.2013

Espen Barth Eide, Foreign Minister of Norway and Magnús Jóhannesson, the first director of the Arctic Council‘s permanent secretariat, signed a Host Country Agreement between Norway and the Arctic Council at ceremony yesterday in Tromsö

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Syria-map

Iceland supports humanitarian efforts in Syria - 17.1.2013

Iceland will contribute 190,000 USD towards the emergency and humanitarian assistance being provided by the United Nations to civilians fleeing the conflict in Syria. UNICEF will receive 90,000 USD in support of their efforts to help Syrian children at the borders of Syria and Jordan; 50,000 USD are earmarked for UNHCR; and UNRWA will receive 50,000 USD to help the Agency deliver essential health and education services to Palestine refugees from Syria who have fled to Lebanon. MORE...
Leona Aglukkaq og Össur Skarphéðinsson

Minister Skarphéðinsson meets Leona Aglukkaq, Canada‘s Minister of the Arctic Council - 15.1.2013

The ministers discussed cooperation between the countries and the their policies within the Arctic Council as Canada will take on the chairmanship of the Arctic Council at the council's ministerial meeting in Kiruna May 15

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