Iceland and the United Kingdom have signed an agreement to boost security cooperation between their two countries.
The Memorandum of Understand was signed in London on Tuesday by UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Iceland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Gudlaugur Thor Thordarson.
“Our security environment has been transformed in recent years,” said Thordarson in emailed comment to Eye on the Arctic on Wednesday. “Therefore, we are very pleased that we have concluded this agreement, which reflects this new realities.
“Iceland and the United Kingdom work closely together, e.g. within NATO and the UN, and they also share interests, e.g. in the North Atlantic. We are determined to cooperate on meeting new challenges, thus contributing to improved security and stability in our region. At this moment, it is very important to underline further the positive bilateral relationship between Iceland and the United Kingdom. “
Both Iceland and the UK are members of NATO, but the new agreement also covers areas like policing, counter-terrorism, search and rescue, risk and crisis management, and cyber security.
“The signing of the MoU represents a significant step forward in the process of formalising the already positive bilateral relationship the UK and Iceland have, recognising the two countries’ shared interests, values and responsibilities,” said a news release posted on the UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s website.
“This builds on recent cooperation, including a visit in January by members of the Icelandic National Security Council (NSC) to meet UK NSC counterparts, and ongoing cyber cooperation between the Oxford Cyber Centre and the relevant Icelandic authorities.”
UK’s growing interest in the North
Previous announcements also include closer integration of the Royal Marines with the Norwegian military over the next 10 years that will see around 1,000 marines go North per year for cold weather training.
Write to Eilís Quinn at eilis.quinn(at)cbc.ca
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