Secretary General: Iceland plays important role to keep NATO strong
Iceland plays a “unique role” in keeping the Alliance’s transatlantic link strong, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday (16 April) during a visit to Reykjavik. “Iceland makes important contributions to NATO and international security in many ways,” he said.
Mr. Stoltenberg is in Iceland to discuss issues at the top of NATO’s security agenda. He discussed Russia’s continued aggressive actions in Ukraine and the rise of violent extremism in the Middle East and North Africa with Icelandic Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson and Foreign Minister Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson. Mr. Stoltenberg is also meeting Olof Nordal, the Interior Minister and senior members of Iceland’s Parliament, including Einar K. Guofinnsson, the Speaker of the Althingi, and Birgir Armannsson, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee.
The Secretary General noted the need for every Ally to continue to play a full role to ensure NATO is able to meet current and future challenges. “In this global security environment, it is more important than ever to work together. This requires a NATO response and that’s what we are doing,” Mr Stoltenberg said. He said that Allies are more than doubling the size of the NATO Response Force and creating a new 5,000-strong quick reaction Spearhead Force.
The visit to Iceland started at the Keflavik Security Zone, where the Secretary General met Icelandic and NATO personnel involved in the air surveillance peacetime preparedness mission.
The Secretary General, together with the Prime Minister, also paid a visit to the Icelandic Coast Guard’s multi-purpose vessel ‘Thor’.