While the weather is turning colder in Reykjavik, the tempo of activity at the Embassy has picked up with gusto. The Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, recently made a brief stop in Iceland and shared with us and government officials his perspectives on the Arctic and the Gulf of Mexico. You would think that there is no connection, but there is: President Obama asked Secretary Mabus to look into the economic impact of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico with a view towards restoration and recovery in the region . He told us that the economic impact on the livelihood of fishermen and the tourist industry was devastating and that we have a responsibility to ensure that any extraction of natural resources in the Arctic region be undertaken responsibly. It is clear that the United States and Iceland need to work together to deal with this and other issues.
Secretary Mabus’s visit was followed by the Supreme Allied Commander, Admiral James G. Stavridis, who visited Iceland as a guest of the Icelandic Government. The Admiral clearly noted that Iceland remains a very important partner of NATO. We certainly agree with that; our commitment to our bilateral Defense Agreement with Iceland is unshakable, as is our commitment to strengthen our security cooperation.
|Ambassador Arreaga with |
Iceland Search and Rescue Member