Iceland has become a surprising middleman between Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Premier of Newfoundland, Danny Williams. Geir Haarde, Iceland’s Prime Minister paid a visit to Canada last week, meeting with both political figures, according to the Embassy Magazine.
First, Mr. Haarde signed a memorandum of understanding with Mr. Williams solidifying cooperation between the two regions on everything from culture to academic exchanges.
Newfoundland and Iceland have been forming closer ties, particularly in the area of trade, in recent years, with scheduled flights making Canada more accessible to the Icelandic public. Every year, shoppers from Iceland are seen in great numbers on the streets of St. John’s.
Last year, Newfoundland returned the favour, sending 300 companies from Canada over the Atlantic to meet with 5,000 Icelanders as a part of a trade promotion show.
“The provincial government has led a number of trade missions to Iceland in recent years and each one has proven very successful,” Mr. Williams said in a press release. “Our government is proud to formalise this relationship with Iceland, as we know the value of sharing information and building partnerships with other jurisdictions.”
Mr. Haarde first met Prime Minister Harper at the NATO summit in Bucharest earlier in the month where Mr. Harper invited Mr. Haarde to join him in Ottawa. Mr. Haarde took him up on the offer.
Mr. Haarde said that the two leaders discussed bilateral agreements and cooperation on matters of security and defence, agreements which could be signed within a few months.