Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Four Hundred Thousand — a Debate on Afghanistan

As part of the visit of NATO's Secretary General to Iceland, a debate may have been held on NATO policy in Afghanistan at the now derelict headquarters of the defunct Kaupthing Bank, in the previously lavish office of Hreidar Mar Sigurdsson, now resident in Luxembourg.

Secretary General visits Iceland

The NATO Secretary General, Mr. Anders Fogh Rasmussen, paid a visit to Iceland on 20 August 2009. This was Mr. Fogh Rasmussen’s first introductory visit to a NATO capital since his appointment as Secretary General in early August.

During his meeting with Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir and with Ministry of Foreign Affairs Össur Skarphédinsson, Mr. Fogh Rasmussen discussed NATO’s priorities, especially Afghanistan, as well as the NATO-Russia relationship and the challenges that will need to be addressed in relation to the High North.

The Secretary General commended Iceland for its valuable contribution to the reconstruction of Afghanistan, particularly the rehabilitation of the aviation sector. “Icelandalso contributed to our missions in the Balkans and these examples really demonstrate that even a small country can be a great ally. This is exactly how I consider Iceland”,said Mr. Fogh Rasmussen.

In a meeting with members of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Parliament (Althingi), the Secretary General urged parliamentarians to engage actively in the ongoing process to develop a new Strategic Concept for NATO.