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Foreign Relations of Iceland


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The nordic prime ministers in 2007. Scandinavia remains Iceland's closest ally.

Iceland maintains diplomatic and commercial relations with practically all nations, but its ties with the Nordic countries, Germany, the US and the other NATO nations are particularly close. Icelanders remain especially proud of the role Iceland played in hosting the historic 1986 Reagan-Gorbachev summit in Reykjavík, which set the stage for the end of the Cold War. Iceland's principal historical international disputes involved disagreements over fishing rights. Conflict with Britain led to a series of so-called Cod Wars in 1952-1956 as a result of the extension of Iceland's fishing zone from 3 to 4 nautical miles, 1958-1961 following a further extension to 12 nautical miles, 1972-1973 with another extension to 50 nautical miles; and in 1975-1976 another extension to 200 nautical miles.

Iceland has no standing army. The U.S. Air Force maintained four to six Interceptors at the Keflavík base, until 30 September, 2006 when they were withdrawn. Iceland supported the 2003 invasion of Iraq despite much controversy and condemnation in Iceland, deploying a Coast Guard EOD team to Iraq which was replaced later by members of the Icelandic Crisis Response Unit. Iceland has also participated in the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan and the 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia. Despite the ongoing financial crisis the first new patrol ship for decades was launched on April 29 2009.

Iceland is a member of European Economic Area (EEA), which allows the country access to the single market of the European Union (EU). However, it is not a member of EU, and the question of application for EU membership has been one of the most debated topics in national politics over recent years. Iceland is also a member of the UN, NATO, EFTA and OECD.

Source: Wikipedia Encyclopedia

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