Iceland Pleaded for American Help on Icesave - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Iceland Pleaded for American Help on Icesave

Published February 19, 2010

According to a now-public document published on Wikileaks, the Icelandic government made a strong appeal to American authorities to intervene in the Icesave matter last January.
The communique states that on 12 January, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Einar Gunnarsson and Political Advisor Kristjan Guy Burgess met with American officials to talk about Icesave. “After presenting a gloomy picture of Iceland’s future, the two officials asked for U.S. support. They said that public comments of support from the U.S. or assistance in getting the issue on the IMF agenda would be very much appreciated. They further said that they did not want to see the matter go to a national referendum and that they were exploring other options for resolving the issue.”
When Gunnarsson and Burgess were told the US is entirely neutral on the subject, however, “Gunnarsson and Burgess responded that they understood the United States’ stated position of neutrality on the issue; however, they expressed the view that it was impossible to remain neutral regarding the Icesave matter. Iceland, they said, was being bullied by two much larger powers and a position of neutrality was tantamount to watching the bullying take place.”
The document concludes by stating: “It is quickly becoming clear that very few of the involved parties are comfortable with the Icesave issue being put to a vote in a national referendum. Both the ruling coalition and the opposition appear to understand that they must present a united front for there to be any possibility of discussing alternative solutions with the British and Dutch. At present, such cooperation remains elusive; however, a number of closed door meetings between the opposition and government will take place in the coming days to explore the full range of potential solutions and, hopefully, to forge consensus. All of this, however, remains in flux.”
The entire document can be read here.

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