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Iceland’s PM Welcomes US Project in Keflavík

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Iceland’s PM Welcomes US Project in Keflavík

Ásbrú, the former U.S. Naval Air Station in Keflavík.

From the former base in Keflavík. Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson welcomes US military projects in Iceland, since they will create jobs, but says no negotiations have taken place regarding increased operations of the US navy here.

Sigmundur Davíð tol RÚV, “I first heard about this on the news that the US military plans to put some money into renovating and old hangar, and there is nothing but good things to say about that if it creates jobs for workers in Suðurnes.” When asked if he thought the operations would increase, he answered, “They will probably want to fly some more over here and that is in accordance with current agreements with the US.”

A spokesperson for the US navy in Europe, Pamela Rawe, told RÚV Wednesday night that the US military does not plan to increase the operations of the navy at Keflavík International Airport. The military has requested USD 21.4 million (ISK 2.7 billion, EUR 19 million) from the Defense Department’s 2017 fiscal budget to upgrade an aircraft hangar in Keflavík to house the P-8 Poseidon.

She said the plan is not to change the operations of the navy in Keflavík, but to restore the infrastructure, so that the base can base can run the P-8 Poseidons which will replace the P-3 planes.

When asked whether this meant the US army could resume regular operations in Iceland, she responded that so far, that has not been discussed. On the other hand, she said, no one knows what the future has in store.

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