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Cablegate: Icelandic Foreign Ministry Welcomes Dhs Letter On

VZCZCXYZ0018
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHRK #0346 3531240
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 191240Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY REYKJAVIK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3521
INFO RUEHCP/AMEMBASSY COPENHAGEN 0360
RHFJUSC/USCUSTOMSSVC WASHDC
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC
RUEAORD/BICE ASAC JFK NEW YORK NY
RHMFIUU/HQ BICE WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS REYKJAVIK 000346

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EUR/PPD AND EUR/NB; CA/VO/P AND CA/VO/F/P
COPENHAGEN FOR DHS RICHARD KLUGMAN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CVIS KHLS PREL KPAO IC
SUBJECT: Icelandic Foreign Ministry welcomes DHS letter on
Arnardottir Detention Case

REF: a) Reykjavik 336; b) Reykjavik 335

1. The Ambassador delivered DHS Assistant Secretary for Policy
Stewart Baker's letter regarding the Erla Osk Arnardottir case to
Acting Foreign Minister Gretar Mar Sigurdsson on December 19.
(Foreign Minister Gisladottir, to whom the letter is addressed, left
the country this morning but will be forwarded the text.)
Sigurdsson warmly welcomed DHS's thorough review of the
circumstances of Arnardottir's detention at JFK Airport December
9-10. He took particular note of Secretary Baker's expression of
regret for the circumstances of Ms. Arnardottir's treatment.
Sigurdsson observed that from the point of view of the Icelandic
government (and Ms. Arnardottir, who had discussed the incident with
him) the most important message was DHS's commitment to reassess its
current procedures in order to improve the treatment of visitors
like Ms. Arnardottir. Sigurdsson hoped this means that Ms.
Arnardottir's unhappy experience will result in more appropriate
treatment for future visitors to the U.S.

2. In a subsequent phone conversation with Ms. Arnardottir, the
Ambassador outlined the contents of the letter and invited her to
visit the Embassy at her convenience to obtain the necessary visa.
Ms. Arnardottir said that she had not brought her case to public
attention out of spite or anger but to raise awareness of the
existence of a problem at the U.S. border and to promote needed
change. She was pleased to learn that DHS would be reviewing their
procedures in light of her experience.

van Voorst

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