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Fox, Sveinsson Discuss Ukraine, Arctic Security at Pentagon Meeting

By Nick Simeone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 11, 2014 – Acting Deputy Secretary of Defense Christine Fox and Iceland's Minister of Foreign Affairs Gunnar Sveinsson discussed a range of issues during a meeting at the Pentagon today, while reaffirming both nations' support for Ukraine and stressing the need for security in the Arctic region.  

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U.S. Acting Deputy Defense Secretary Christine H. Fox hosts a meeting with Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, Icelandic foreign affairs minister, at the Pentagon, April 11, 2014. The two leaders met to discuss issues of mutual importance. DOD photo by U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Aaron Hostutler

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

"Fox conveyed gratitude for the strong U.S.-Icelandic bilateral relationship and noted that Iceland is a valued NATO ally and an important leader in addressing Nordic regional challenges," Defense Department Spokesman James Swartout said in a statement issued after the meeting.

The discussions included the current situation in Ukraine with Fox and Sveinsson reaffirming "their countries' support for Ukraine and the need for steps at NATO to provide reassurance to our European allies."   The spokesman said the two also discussed "our shared goal of ensuring the Arctic remains stable and secure, and the importance that capabilities like search and rescue will have in the future." 

Before their talks, Sveinsson was greeted at the Pentagon by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who, Swartout said, "highlighted the similarities between U.S. and Icelandic priorities for keeping the Arctic region stable and secure."  

Ways of enhancing mutual security interests were also discussed, the Pentagon spokesman said, as well as Iceland's support for the NATO mission in Afghanistan. 

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Chuck Hagel

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Readout of Acting Deputy Secretary of Defense Christine Fox’s Meeting with Iceland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Gunnar Sveinsson

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