Iceland hands formally in application for EU membership

July 17, 2009 10:13 pm 

STOCKHOLM, July 18 — Iceland's application for accession to the European Union has been submitted Friday to the Swedish government, which currently holds the EU Presidency, according to reports reaching here from Reykjavik.

Gudmundur Arni Stefansson, Ambassador of Iceland in Stockholm, presented Iceland's application to the Secretary of State of the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs earlier Friday, said a statement from the Icelandic Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

At the same time, Stefan Haukur Johannsson, Ambassador of Iceland to the EU, introduced Iceland's application to the EU Commission. Leaders of both have welcomed Iceland's application, the statement added.

The majority of the Icelandic parliament voted in favor of launching membership talks with the European Union (EU) Thursday afternoon. 33 members of parliament voted for the EU membership talks, 28 against and two abstained. Parliamentarians from all five political parties voted in favor of the resolution.

"This is an historic decision for Iceland. The vote was likely one of my most enjoyable due to the importance I attach to this issue for Iceland," said Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir.

If the application is approved by EU member states, the Icelandic nation will vote on the membership agreement between Iceland and the EU in a referendum. (PNA/Xinhua) ALM

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