Foreign ministers discussed defence and human rights
Guðlaugur Þór is currently in the UK to sign the free-trade agreement between Britain and the EFTA countries, according to the website of the Ministry. Guðlaugur says that the agreement signifies a new start in the cooperation between the states.
Among the topics discussed were human rights, international affairs and safety and defence issues. Guðlaugur stressed that democracies are obliged to make it clear to the government of Belarus that human rights violations and persecution against the country’ progressive powers would not go unchallenged.
The two ministers also emphasized the importance of the Northern European Joint Expeditionary Force, JEF which was founded in 2018 and is being led by the United Kingdom.
Iceland joined the UK Joint Expeditionary Force last April. The intention of the JEF is to use it during crises for civil defence and for humanitarian aid. A civil defence expert will be appointed by Iceland to work for the Joint Force but other than that the cooperation will not incur any costs for the Icelandic government.
Guðlaugur Þór and Amanda Solloway, UK’s Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State of Science, Research and Innovation signed an agreement this morning that will further strengthen the educational, and the research and development cooperation between Iceland and the UK.
According to Guðlaugur this agreement guarantees that Icelandic students and scholars will be granted continued access to educational institutions and scholarships within the UK. The agreement takes effect in autumn of 2022.