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Brussels, 13 June 2013
Iceland: first meeting with the new Foreign Minister
Press points by Štefan Füle Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy following his meeting with Mr Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iceland:
And once again, welcome Minister. I appreciate that your first trip abroad led you to Brussels. This shows the strength of the relations that Iceland and the European Union have built so far.
We had a good and constructive discussion. I have enquired about the intentions of the new government of Iceland regarding European Union-Iceland relations.
I have stressed that we respect the new approach to the accession process by the Icelandic government.
At the same time I recalled that we remain fully committed to continuing and completing the process. Because our position has been clear all along:
• The unanimous decision of the European Union to open accession negotiations remains valid;
• We remain convinced about the benefits of close European Union- Iceland ties;
• and we find the accession process to be the best framework for it.
• We do not only have the will, but also the capacity to see it through
We are now awaiting the outcome of the Icelandic government's assessment of the status of the accession negotiations and developments within the European Union that will be presented to the Icelandic parliament.
It is in the interest of the European Union and Iceland that the decision is taken on the basis of proper reflection. However, it is also in the interest of us all that this decision is not taken in an unlimited period of time.''