Iceland and the US to Cooperate on Arctic Research

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Iceland and the US to Cooperate on Arctic Research

The governments of the USA and Iceland are now working on a declaration of intent on cooperation on research in the Arctic regions following a meeting between Icelandic Foreign Minister Össur Skarphédinsson and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington DC yesterday.

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Skarphédinsson signing an agreement on cooperation in aeronautical and maritime search and rescue in the Arctic at an Arctic Council summit in Nuuk, Greenland, on May 12. Courtesy of the Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

Clinton also declared support for an agreement on an accident prevention strategy for oil harnessing areas in the Arctic regions, which is one of the core issues in Iceland’s policy for the region, a press release from the Icelandic Foreign Ministry states.

The ministers agreed that the Arctic Council should be the main platform for cooperation in the Arctic region.

Representatives of the council’s seven member states met at a summit in Nuuk, Greenland, last week where they signed an agreement on cooperation in aeronautical and maritime search and rin the Arctic, as it says on the ministry’s website.

In Washington DC, Skarphédinsson and Clinton also discussed cooperation between Iceland and the US in defense and security issues and Skarphédinsson requested that their cooperation on terrorism defenses be enforced as stated in a declaration made by the two states in 2006.

At the meeting the ministers talked about the situation in the Middle East, the developments in Libya and Syria, and in Palestine after the Fatah and Hamas movements forged a coalition. The ministers agreed that a peace process must begin in the region as soon as possible.

Clinton also explained to Skarphédinsson how the situation in Pakistan and Afghanistan has developed.

Icelandic and American institutions and companies have collaborated on the harnessing of geothermal energy for a few years and the ministers expressed their interest in enhancing that collaboration.

Click here to read more about the Nuuk summit.