Thursday, March 10, 2011

Iceland and American law students engaged on hot topics

U.S.Ambassador to Iceland Luis Arreaga (right) welcomes
law students from the University of Iceland and their
 guests from Ohio Northern University.
I had the pleasure to welcome at my residence a group of Icelandic law students from Háskóli Íslands who were hosting a group of law students from Ohio Northern University as part of an ongoing 40-year program of exchange visits between both universities.  We took the opportunity to ask both groups their views on ongoing national debates in their respective countries.  Icelanders had very clear and well informed opinions on issues such as the Icesave agreement, Iceland’s application to the European Union, and the Icelandic Constitution; their American counterparts had similarly informed views on the U.S. budget deficit, the path to economic growth, and ongoing debates about labor union rights.  It was reassuring to hear that the future leaders of our countries are quite engaged on the issues of the day.

Libya’s challenges to the International Community

As the world watches in horror the atrocities brought upon the Libyan people, there have been calls for the international community to act swiftly and for the United States to stop the bloodshed.  President Obama and Secretary Clinton have sent a clear message that Colonel Qaddafi and his government will be held to account for their actions.  In the meantime, the United States is working with the international community, especially multilateral organizations, in putting together and contributing to a package of measures designed to provide humanitarian support, evacuation assistance, economic sanctions, and arms embargo, and other measures to stop the bloodshed.  No single country can or should deal with this issue. It is a shared responsibility.