Last update: 21-Jun-2004 19:18 NATO Update

18 June 2004

De Hoop Scheffer praises Iceland
for Afghanistan contribution

17/06/2004 - NATO
NATO Secretary General to visit Iceland 18 June 2004
NATO in Afghanistan
Iceland taking the lead in running the Kabul airport shows that small nations can make big contributions to NATO’s operations, the NATO Secretary General said on a visit to Reykjavik, 18 June.

Jaap de Hoop Scheffer discussed Afghanistan and the Istanbul Summit agenda in talks with Prime Minister David Oddsson and Foreign Minister Halldor Asgrimsson. He thanked Iceland for its contribution to NATO’s missions in the Balkans and Afghanistan.

“Without Iceland, Kabul airport would not be operational, and without the airport the NAT0-led mission would not be possible,” the Secretary General told reporters during his visit.

Providing niche capabilities

Iceland is providing personnel essential for running Kabul International Airport, which is operated by the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). This includes air traffic controllers, rescue and fire personnel.

The talks focused on the agenda of the upcoming Istanbul Summit meeting of NATO Heads of State and Government, 28 and 29 June. Among other decisions, NATO is expected to announce a further expansion of its presence in Afghanistan at the Summit.