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Viewing cable 09REYKJAVIK23, ICELAND SIGNS TIFA, PUSHES FOR E VISAS

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09REYKJAVIK23 2009-01-28 09:09 2011-01-13 05:05 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Reykjavik
VZCZCXRO6683
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHRK #0023 0280946
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 280946Z JAN 09
FM AMEMBASSY REYKJAVIK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3966
INFO RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
UNCLAS REYKJAVIK 000023 
 
STATE PLEASE PASS TO USTR JASON BUNTIN, CHRIS WILSON AND JOSH 
KALLMER 
 
STATE FOR EUR/NB, CA/VO, EEB/IFD/OMA WESLEY SCHOLZ AND MICHAEL 
TRACTON 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
SIPDIS 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ECON ETRD EFIN CVIS IC
SUBJECT:  ICELAND SIGNS TIFA, PUSHES FOR E VISAS 
 
1.  (SBU) Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Europe and the 
Middle East Christopher S. Wilson and Acting Minister for Foreign 
Affairs Ossur Skarphedinsson signed a Trade and Investment 
Cooperation Framework Agreement (TIFA) in Reykjavik on January 15. 
The TIFA establishes a commitment to meet on a regular basis to 
discuss trade and investment issues.   During the signing, Minister 
Skarphedinsson expressed his hope that the TIFA would increase and 
strengthen the countries' economic relations. 
2. (SBU) Wilson, USTR Director for Europe and Middle East Jason 
Buntin, and Econoff attended a subsequent meeting with Acting MFA 
Permanent Secretary Benedikt Jonsson, MFA Director General for 
External Trade Martin Eyjolfsson, and other representatives from the 
MFA and the Ministry of Business Affairs.  Jonsson emphasized the 
importance of meeting on a regular basis and Wilson suggested both 
sides exchange ideas to develop an agenda for a first meeting. 
Wilson highlighted some possible themes, such as Intellectual 
Property Rights, Trade and Climate Change.  Wilson said June 2009 
would be a good date for the next meeting and suggested that 
Reykjavik might be an ideal location.  Jonsson was very receptive to 
this idea. 
Elephant in the Room - E Visas 
------------------------------ 
3. (SBU) Jonsson raised what he described as "the elephant in the 
room," the lack of E-2 investor visas for Icelandic businessmen. 
Jonsson stressed that Icelandic businesses raise the issue with the 
MFA "all the time."  He said the Icelanders had received positive 
feedback from Congress, "they gave us a letter and they don't 
object" to proceeding further in obtaining E visas.  Jonsson said 
Iceland needed a commitment to start negotiating an arrangement that 
would include E visas and would appreciate support for that request. 
 Wilson explained the changed role of USTR in regards to visas, but 
promised to convey Jonsson's concern with the Department of State 
and he encouraged the Icelanders to continue engagement with 
Congress. 
 
4. (U) This cable has been cleared by USTR. 
VAN VOORST