February 2006

06REYKJAVIK50 2006-02-13 16:04 2011-01-13 05:05 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Reykjavik

VZCZCXYZ0006
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHRK #0050 0441658
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 131658Z FEB 06
FM AMEMBASSY REYKJAVIK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2575
INFO RUEHCP/AMEMBASSY COPENHAGEN 0287
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO 0209
RUEHHE/AMEMBASSY HELSINKI 0113

UNCLAS REYKJAVIK 000050

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KPAL EAID IS IC
SUBJECT: ICELAND IN NO RUSH TO ASSIST NEW PALESTINIAN
AUTHORITY

REF: STATE 21256

¶1. Post discussed reftel points with Icelandic MFA Head of
International Institutions Division Nikulas Hannigan
February 10. Hannigan took note of U.S concerns about a new
Palestinian Authority government that has not committed to
non-violence, and he affirmed that Iceland generally
supports the Quartet statements regarding Hamas. He stated
that while Iceland contributes to the United Nations Relief
and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East
(note: to the tune of U.S. $45,000 in 2004, according to
latest available UNRWA figures), it provides no bilateral
aid to the Palestinians and has none planned. He added
that, as far as he knew, the Government of Iceland had no
bilateral contacts with Palestinian representatives or
delegations.

¶2. Referring to Middle Eastern protests in response to the
Danish Mohammed cartoons, Hannigan remarked that, given the
current “Nordic profile” in that region, he did not
anticipate that Reykjavik would soon initiate aid to the
Palestinian Authority. (Note: An Icelandic newspaper
reported last week that the honorary Icelandic consul in
Amman had taken down the Icelandic flag outside her office
for fear it could be mistaken for its Danish or Norwegian
cousins. Another newspaper carried a column from an
Icelandic journalist in Iran who reported that anti-cartoon
demonstrators had told her that, had she been Danish, they
would have killed her.) Icelanders have reacted with
bemusement and distaste to radical Islam’s violent hijacking
of what they believe should have been a debate about good
taste and freedom of expression.

VAN VOORST

Leave a Reply