News

Ríkisstjórn Íslands á Gamlársdag

Cabinet reshuffle - 31.12.2011

A new Cabinet was unveiled in Iceland on 31 December. During the reshuffle former finance minister Mr Steingrímur J. Sigfússon was named Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture as well as Minister of Economic Affairs. Mrs Oddný G. Harðardóttir was promoted into Cabinet as  Minister of Finance.

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Össur Skarphéðinsson og Riad Malki

Iceland Recognizes Palestine - 15.12.2011

Össur Skarphéðinsson, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland, and Dr. Riad Malki, the Foreign Minister of Palestine, today formally confirmed the establishment of full diplomatic relations between Iceland and Palestine. The Icelandic Foreign Minister presented to Dr. Malki a diplomatic note stating that as resolved with the Parliamentary Resolution of 29 November 2011 the Government of Iceland has, as of 15 December 2011, recognized Palestine as an independent and sovereign state within the pre-1967 Six Day War borders.

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Foreign minister meets with Palestinian counterpart Dr. Riad Malki - 14.12.2011

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Össur Skarphéðinsson, met today with Dr. Riad Malki, the Palestinian Foreign Minister. At the meeting the ministers discussed relations between Iceland and Palestine and ways to restart the Middle East peace process. MORE...
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Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs visits Iceland - 12.12.2011

Dr. Riad Malki, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Palestine, will visit Iceland on 14-16 December 2011 on the invitation of Foreign Minister Össur Skarphéðinsson. During the visit Foreign Minister Malki will meet with Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, as well as Foreign Minister Skarphéðinsson.

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Quarter of the chapters closed in Iceland's Accession negotiations with the EU - 12.12.2011

The third meeting of the Accession Conference between Iceland and the EU at Ministerial level took place earlier today in Brussels. The Icelandic delegation was led by Foreign Minister Össur Skarphéðinsson. Discussions took place on five chapters of the accession negotiations, four of which were provisionally closed.

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Icelandic and Chinese leaders hail 40 years of diplomatic relations - 9.12.2011

The presidents of Iceland and China and the foreign Ministers of both countries exchanged congratulatory messages Thursday, December 8, to mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. MORE...

18th OSCE Ministerial Council held in Vilnius - 8.12.2011

The 18th Ministerial Council of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) was held in Vilnius, Lithuania on 6-7 December 2011. The Foreign Ministers of the OSCE Member States agreed to strengthen the cooperation with Afghanistan and other OSCE Partner countries, including those in North Africa. MORE...
The delegations of the Icelandic Government and the Icelandic Red Cross

Cooperation with the Icelandic Red Cross - 8.12.2011

The 31st International Conference of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent was held between 28 November and 1 December 2011  in Geneva. The conference convened under the banner "Our World. Your move".

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Palestinian appreciation for Iceland´s initiative - 5.12.2011

Foreign Minister Össur Skarphéðinsson has received a letter from Dr. Riad Malki, Foreign Minister of Palestine, where Minister Malki expresses his appreciation to Minister Skarphéðinsson and to the Althingi for the support given to an independent Palestine.

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Iceland and Russia: communication cable, adoption, the Arctic and geothermal energy - 30.11.2011

Foreign Minister Össur Skarphéðinsson met yesterday with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, in Moscow. The meeting was a part of the Foreign Minister's official visit to the Russian Federation. The Foreign Minister had earlier signed an agreement that facilitates trade in dairy products from Iceland to Russia.

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Parliamentary resolution on an independent and sovereign Palestine - 29.11.2011

The Parliament of Iceland has approved a resolution put forth by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Össur Skarphéðinsson, in which the Government is entrusted with recognising an independent and sovereign State of Palestine within the pre-1967 Six Day War borders. The resolution was adopted without objections, with 38 votes in favour and 13 abstentions.

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Meeting with Ireland's European Minister - 24.11.2011

Today, Foreign Minister Össur Skarphéðinsson met with Ms. Lucinda Creighton, Minister of State With Special Responsibility for European Affairs in Ireland. The Ministers discussed measures the European Union has taken to deal with the debt crisis and the current situation and prospects ahead in the eurozone.

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Foreign Minister meets Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation - 10.11.2011

The Icelandic Foreign Minister, Mr Össur Skarphéðinsson, met last Tuesday with Mr Alexander Grushko, Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation in Reykjavík. The two ministers discussed the relations and cooperation of Iceland and Russia, especially in terms of international trade, the High North and energy affairs. MORE...
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Foreign Minister signs an agreement with the United Nations University on the UNU Geothermal Training Programme - 3.11.2011

Foreign Minister Össur Skarphéðinsson, Dr. Konrad Osterwalder, Rector of the United Nations University (UNU) and Dr. Guðni A. Jóhannesson, Director General of the National Energy Authority today signed an agreement on the extension of the cooperation between Iceland and the UNU on the UNU Geothermal Training Programme (UNU-GTP).

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Nordic countries concerned about measures against Palestinians - 2.11.2011

The five Nordic foreign ministers discussed the situation in the Middle East today, focusing particularly on relations between Israel and the Palestinians in the wake of this week's vote in UNESCO. MORE...
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Denmark supports Iceland's EU aspirations - 2.11.2011

Össur Skarphéðinsson Minister of Foreign Affairs in Iceland and Villy Søvndal the newly appointed Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs, along with the Denmark's new Minister for European Affairs, Nikolai Wammen, met today at the sidelines of the Nordic Council Session in Copenhagen.

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Iceland's responsibility towards developing countries - 25.10.2011

Iceland commemorates the 40th anniversary of Iceland's development cooperation, 30th anniversary of the Icelandic Development Agency (ICEIDA) and tenth anniversary of the Icelandic Crisis Response Unit.

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Foreign Minister and Negotiations Committee Meet With EU Enlargement Commissioner - 20.10.2011

Foreign Minister Össur Skarphéðinsson last night met with  European Commissioner for Enlargement Štefan Füle who is on a visit to Iceland MORE...
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Two chapters concluded in negotiations between Iceland and EU - 19.10.2011

An Intergovernmental Conference was held in Brussels today between Iceland and the EU on two chapters in the current Accession negotiations; free movement of workers and intellectual property rights.

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Foreign Minister submits a proposal to Althingi for a parliamentary resolution on recognition of Palestine - 13.10.2011

The first reading of the resolution took place on 6 October and it was subsequently referred to the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Parliament. MORE...

EU progress report states Iceland fulfills political and economic conditions - 12.10.2011

The European Commission today published a progress report on the status in Iceland‘s accession negotiations with the European Union.

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Foreign Minister disappointed with verdict over Tymoshenko - 12.10.2011

Minister Skarphéðinsson supports the declaration made by the European Union critizising the trial over Ms Tymoshenko and will also support such a declaration with the OSCE later this week. MORE...
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Germany reiterates support for Iceland - 12.10.2011

Össur Skarphéðinsson Minister for Foreign Affairs met yesterday with Guido Westerwelle, Germany‘s Minister for Foreign Affairs, discussing  Iceland's accession negotiations with the EU
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Towards Creative Iceland:building local, going global - 11.10.2011

A new study on creative industries in Iceland has found that they generated turnover of ISK 1891 billion in 2009, accounting for 6.36% of the economy's total VATtaxable turnover MORE...
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Norway and Iceland increase their co-operation on arctic issues - 30.9.2011

The Foreign Ministers of Iceland and Norway, Össur Skarphéðinsson and Jonas Gahr Støre, announced yesterday the establishment of a new professorship in the field of Arctic studies at the University of Akureyri. This is a part of increased co-operation between the two countries on co-operation on Arctic scientific research

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UN GA ÖS 2011

Iceland to support Palestinian statehood in the UN General Assembly - 27.9.2011

Foreign Minister Össur Skarphéðinsson told the United Nations General Assembly yesterday that Iceland was determined to fully recognize Palestine and that he will next week put to the Parliament of Iceland a resolution on the recognition of Palestine as a sovereign and independent state MORE...
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Poster Design from Iceland at Beijing Design Week - 26.9.2011

32 posters by senior Icelandic Graphic Designer Goddur will be on display at the Beijing Design Week. The exhibition will take place in the L-Building on Power Square in the newly refurbished 751 D•Park, a former power plant that has been transformed into a vibrant cultural centre. MORE...

Foreign Minister attends UN General Assembly - 24.9.2011

During the UN GA minister Össur Skarphéðinsson has met with Foreign Ministers of the Nordic countries, Cyprus, Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan. MORE...
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Air Transport Agreement between Iceland and Vietnam signed - 9.9.2011

Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister of Industry, Tourism and Trade Katrín Juliusdottir and Hoang Tsung Hai, Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam, signed an Air Transport Agreement between Iceland and Vietnam today. It is the first agreement in this field to be made between the two countries.

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Italy's full support to Iceland's application - 9.9.2011

Italy's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Franco Frattini, declared full support to Iceland's application to the European Union during a meeting he had this morning with Ossur Skarphedinsson, Minister for Foreign Affairs. Frattini encouraged Icelanders to consult with Italians if complications would arise during negotiations, and said he understood the importance of fisheries for Iceland's economy.

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Minister meets with Speaker of Croatian Parliament - 6.9.2011

Minister Skarphéðinsson and Speaker Bebic discussed lessons learned from the two countries‘ EU accession negotiations, the role of small states in international cooperation and bilateral issues between Iceland and Croatia, including geothermal projects  and tourism. MORE...
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Skarphedinsson and Kleist vow to increase cooperation between Iceland and Greenland - 6.9.2011

During their meeting yesterday, Ossur Skarphedinsson Iceland's Minister for Foreign Affairs and Kuupik Kleist, the Prime Minister of Greenland, vowed to increase cooperation between the nations both with regard to bilateral projects and other affairs concerning the Arctic Region MORE...
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Reinforced diplomatic cooperation between the Nordic and Baltic countries - 30.8.2011

The Nordic and Baltic countries have today signed a memorandum of understanding on the locating of diplomats at each other's missions abroad MORE...

Iceland completes IMF Programme - 27.8.2011

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) completed and approved on Friday the sixth and final review of Iceland's Economic Recovery Programme, supported by a Stand-By Arrangement, making the country the first to complete such a program following the international financial recession. The objectives have been met and the successful collaboration between Iceland and the IMF has drawn considerable attention.

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Iceland's and Lithuania's Foreign Ministers discuss EU, NATO issues - 25.8.2011

Össur Skarphéðinsson, Minister for Foreign Affairs, today met with Audronius Azubalis, Lithuania‘s Foreign Minister, who is in Iceland on an official visit. MORE...

Minister discusses foreign investment in environmental tourism - 24.8.2011

Foreign Minister Össur Skarphéðinsson met with Mr. Huang Nubo, chairman of the board of directors of Chinese investment firm Zhongkun Group on environmental tourism in Iceland.

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ÖS í Riga

The Minister's address - 24.8.2011

In his address, Ossur Skarphedinsson said that Icelanders were deeply grateful to be afforded this honor. At the time, Iceland had only done what was considered to be right, that is to fully support the sovereignty and independence of the Baltic countries.

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Inauguration of the Iceland square in Riga - 24.8.2011

On Monday, Ossur Skarphedinsson, Minister for Foreign Affairs, was present at the inauguration of the Iceland square in Riga, with Girts Valdis Kristovskis, Latvia's Minister for Foreign Affairs. The two ministers unveiled a memorial, in rememberance to Iceland being the first state to recognise Latvia's independence, 20 years ago.

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Iceland and Finland will increase cooperation regarding the Arctic - 22.8.2011

Ossur Skarphedinsson, Minister for Foreign Affairs, discussed European affairs and matters concerning the Arctic region at his meeting in Tallinn Estonia, with Erkki Tuomioja, Finland's Minister for Foreign Affairs. The ministers declared their wish to increase the two nations' cooperation regarding the Arctic region, with an emphasis on education, research and distance teaching.

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Foreign Ministers of Iceland and Estonia meet in Tallinn - 19.8.2011

Foreign minister Skarphéðinsson thanked Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet for the honour shown to Icelanders by holding a culture festival dedicated to Iceland. MORE...

Minister condemns violence against civilians in Syria - 19.8.2011

This violence is in violation of international human rights obligations and a cruel attack on the rightful demands of the Syrian public for reforms and democratic development. MORE...
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Estonia honours Iceland with Iceland Day festival - 19.8.2011

By holding a special Iceland day, the Estonian state remembers that Iceland was the first country to recognise Estonia's restored independence in 1991. MORE...
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Minister completes visit to Gaza, Ramallah and Jordan - 11.7.2011

Iceland's minister for foreign affairs, Össur Skarphéðinsson had meetings with Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Authority, Saeb Erekat the chief negotiator and Yasser Abed Rabbo general secretary of the PLO in Ramallah

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Icelandic and Palestinian Ministers sign MoU on political consultations - 8.7.2011

Minister for Foreign Affairs Össur Skarphéðinsson and Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs Riad Al-Malki have signed in Ramallah a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on political consultations between the government of Iceland and the government of Palestine MORE...

Foreign Minister Discusses Middle-East Peace Process with Jordanian Authorities - 8.7.2011

Minister for Foreign Affairs Össur Skarphéðinsson met with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh and His Royal Highness, Prince Hashem Ben Al Hussein. MORE...
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Foreign Minister visits Gaza, Jordan and Ramallah - 6.7.2011

The minister will meet with the Palestinans and their neighbouring countries to discuss Palestine‘s status MORE...
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Minister meets with EU Commissioners and European Parliament MEP - 28.6.2011

The meetings followed yesterday‘s EU- Iceland Intergovernmental conference in Brussels where the first four chapters of the negotiations were opened.

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Four chapters opened and two closed at the launch of substantive accession negotiations between Iceland and the EU - 27.6.2011

Icelandic Foreign Minister Össur Skarphédinsson stated Iceland's willingness to open the chapters on fisheries and agriculture as soon as possible.

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Minister signs a free trade agreement between EFTA and Hong Kong - 22.6.2011

Össur Skarphéðinsson, the Foreign Minister of Iceland, has signed on behalf of Iceland, a free trade agreeement between the four EFTA countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) and Hong Kong, China MORE...

Screening process concluded - 21.6.2011

Today marks the conclusion of the screening process between the European Union and Iceland, which began in November last year. Experts from Iceland and the European Commission have now compared and scrutinized legislation in all 33 substantive chapters of the accession negotiations. The screening meetings have shown that Iceland already implements, in part or in whole, EU legislation (acquis communautaire) in 21 chapters through its membership of the European Economic Area (EEA). The meetings have also revealed the main legislative differences in chapters outside of the EEA, such as fisheries, agriculture, regional policy and monetary policy.

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