Hoppa yfir valmynd
18. maí 2021 Utanríkisráðuneytið

Ávarp á sameiginlegum blaðamannafundi með utanríkisráðherra Bandaríkjanna Antony Blinken

Reykjavík, 18. maí 2021

Good morning everyone and thank you for being here.

It has been my great pleasure to receive US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, here in Iceland.

We see your visit here as a strong testament the deep and long-standing friendship between our countries, founded on shared values, ideas, and interests.

Not only have you come for the Arctic Council Ministerial – a meeting which Iceland, as the outgoing Chair, attaches great importance to - but you have also taken time out of your busy schedule for an extensive bilateral visit. 

We appreciate this very much – especially in this year when we mark 80 years of US-Iceland diplomatic relations and the 70th anniversary of our bilateral defense agreement.

Today´s meeting was an opportunity to strengthen our relationship even further, with a very productive discussion on many issues of mutual concern and interest.

Let me provide you with some key take-aways:

We talked about our long-standing cooperation on security and defense, where I emphasized the central role of our bilateral defense agreement in Iceland´s national defense strategy, as well as our NATO cooperation.

We agreed that we need to continue to nurture this important aspect of our relations, with the Keflavík airbase playing a critical and strategic role in the North Atlantic.

We also talked about the extensive and growing trade relations between our two countries and agreed on finding ways to strengthen these even further.

The US is Iceland´s single largest trading partner – this is therefore a priority for us.

tI was pleased that we agreed to deepen and broaden our trade relations even further, and seek concrete results.

We also discussed global issues of common concern and mutual interest.

In the area of climate change, I applauded the Biden administration´s swift return to the Paris Agreement.

This was a critical step, which I believe will have a long-lasting positive impact on the implementation of the Agreement.

In this regard, I stressed Iceland´s commitment to the Paris Agreement, as demonstrated by enhanced ambition when it comes to emission cuts, carbon removal and international climate finance.

We agreed that there are a range of opportunities when it comes to enhanced collaboration between Iceland and the US in these areas and decided to continue discussions on how to take our collaboration to the next level.

Lastly, we had a very good conversation about our shared values and ideas, in particular when it comes to human rights, democracy, and gender equality – all of which are at the heart of Iceland´s foreign policy.

In this regard, I warmly welcomed the US return to active engagement with the UN Human Rights Council and also took the opportunity to highlight Iceland´s positive experience from sitting on the Council in 2018-2019 when I think we showed that it can be a body of some consequence.

Overall, the US and Iceland have a lot of convergence of views and positions when it comes to human rights, and we decided to continue our discussions on how we can put this convergence to work.

Lastly, we had the opportunity to discuss the very grave situation in Israel and Palestine, and the need to break the spiral of violence and work towards a sustainable political solution.

So, as you can hear, this was a very productive meeting, with a range of important issues discussed.

Thank you again for coming to Iceland, thank you for our good discussions today, and thank you for your demonstrated commitment to the friendship between our two countries.

Over to you.


Hafa samband

Ábending / fyrirspurn
Vinsamlegast svaraðu í tölustöfum