Brussels/Reykjavik, 29 May 2018 – President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, Paolo Alli (Italy) begins today a two-day visit to Iceland where he is due to meet with some of the countries’ top officials, including Steingrímur J. Sigfússon, Speaker of the Althing, and Gudni Th. Johannesson, President of Iceland, to discuss preparations for the Summit of Allied Heads of State and Government in Brussels on 11-12 July, and Iceland’s priorities.
Yesterday was the final day of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly’s Spring Session in Warsaw, Poland. Lawmakers from the Alliance’s 29 member countries adopted their recommendations to Allied leaders for the NATO Summit. In their declaration entitled “Affirming NATO’s Unity and Credibility at the Brussels Summit”, parliamentarians urged NATO governments: to strengthen the Alliance’s deterrence presence in the East, and maintain a dual track Russia policy of strong defence and deterrence, and “meaningful dialogue”; to further enhance NATO’s contribution to the fight against terrorism and stabilisation efforts in the southern neighbourhood; to live up to the pledge to spend 2% GDP on defence and 20% of that on new equipment; to adapt NATO’s structures and responses to new hybrid, cyber and information threats; to further enhance NATO-EU cooperation; to keep NATO’s door open to aspirant countries; and to improve NATO’s communication efforts towards citizens in Europe and North America.
Many of these topics, as well as security challenges in the North Atlantic, the role and contribution of parliamentary diplomacy, and NATO’s contribution to the Women, Peace and Security agenda, are expected to feature in Mr Alli’s talks with Iceland’s top government and parliament officials.
The Althing has a 3-member delegation in the NATO PA currently led by Njáll Trausti Friðbertsson.
During his visit, Mr Alli is also expected to meet with Lilja Dögg Alfreðsdóttir, Minister of Education, Science and Culture, and former Head of the Icelandic Delegation to the NATO PA, to discuss ways in which governments and parliaments in NATO countries can work hand in hand to help improve citizen‘s knowledge and understanding of NATO‘s transformation since the end of the Cold War and responses to today‘s challenges. The NATO PA created last year a Working Group on Education and Communication about NATO aimed at furthering this goal in cooperation with NATO and the Atlantic Treaty Association.