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Viewing cable 08REYKJAVIK28, ICELAND: FOREIGN MINISTER DISMISSES CALLS FOR INDEPENDENT

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08REYKJAVIK28 2008-02-29 16:04 2011-01-13 05:05 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Reykjavik
VZCZCXRO1619
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHRK #0028 0601654
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 291654Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY REYKJAVIK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3576
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHDC
UNCLAS REYKJAVIK 000028 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PINR PREL PTER IC
SUBJECT:  ICELAND: FOREIGN MINISTER DISMISSES CALLS FOR INDEPENDENT 
RENDITIONS INQUIRY 
 
Refs: A) Copenhagen 38 
 
  B) Evans-Wheeler emails 11/29/07 
  C) 07 Reykjavik 313 
  D) Copenhagen 50 
 
1.  (SBU) Summary:  Iceland's Foreign Minister flatly dismissed 
opposition calls for an independent inquiry into suspected CIA 
rendition flights through Iceland in a parliamentary session on 
February 28.  The question time discussion was spurred by Icelandic 
State Television's February 25 broadcast of a Danish TV documentary 
about rendition flights through Danish territory.  In answering, the 
FM noted that the government's stated intent to inspect suspected 
rendition flights has been lauded as an example for Denmark and 
other governments to follow.  The FM's comments were her strongest 
public statement to date that no further investigation of the issue 
is necessary.  End Summary. 
 
2.  (U) On February 25, Icelandic State Television (RUV) broadcast 
the Danish DR1-TV documentary "CIA's Danske Forbindelse," which 
alleges that CIA-operated aircraft possibly including those used in 
rendition flights have repeatedly used Danish territory and airspace 
(ref A).  The program alleged that several flights had also stopped 
off in Iceland.  Opposition leader and Left-Green Party Chair 
Steingrimur Sigfusson referred to the RUV broadcast in an Althingi 
(parliament) question time session on February 28, asking Foreign 
Minister Ingibjorg Solrun Gisladottir whether the documentary didn't 
demonstrate both the need and the viability of an independent 
investigation of whether similar flights had used Icelandic 
territory for the purposes of rendition. 
 
3.  (U) Gisladottir flatly refused the Left-Green call for an 
investigation, noting the work of a Ministry for Foreign Affairs 
(MFA) review and pointing to the MFA's conclusion that it would be 
unproductive to attempt to determine whether suspected terrorists 
had actually been transported through Iceland.  Should some further 
evidence pointing to renditions come to light, the MFA would review 
its stance, the FM noted, but as the matter currently stands the 
government has focused on ensuring that such activities do not take 
place in the future.  Gisladottir added that DR1-TV lauded the 
Icelandic government's policy of searching all suspected rendition 
flights (ref B) in a subsequent program, which she hopes Iceland's 
RUV will see fit to broadcast. 
 
4.  (U) Pressed further by Sigfusson, FM Gisladottir added the 
caution that aircraft with tail numbers allegedly linked to the CIA 
can not definitively be pronounced rendition flights:  "I say 
possible [rendition flights] because the aircraft numbers under 
discussion could obviously be [in Iceland] in connection with other 
parties or for other purposes than these." 
 
5.  (SBU) Comment:  Gisladottir's response is her strongest move to 
date to knock down the proposal of a further inquiry into the 
renditions issue.  The FM may feel her earlier moves on the issue 
(refs B and C) have given her breathing room to withstand opposition 
calls for further action regarding events previous to her tenure at 
the MFA. 
 
VAN VOORST