- Julia Beyen
COD WAR 4.0?
UK and Iceland resolve conflict in recent press conference
The Icelandic Coast Guard has reported unauthorized activities of a British fishing vessel in Icelandic waters. The ship was intercepted by a vessel of the Icelandic Coast Guard, leading to a non-military collision and a prompt suspension of the British vessel’s activities. The Icelandic government has reacted with outrage to the incident and has denied granting authorization for any commercial activities to the vessel. However, both governments resolved their conflict in a press conference where they reiterated the course of events and agreed on a diplomatic approach.
If this incident rings a bell for you, that might be due to the Cod Wars that were a series of 20th-century confrontations between the UK (back then with aid from West Germany) and Iceland about fishing rights in the North Atlantic. The most recent confrontation between the UK and Iceland could have easily led to a fourth Cod War.
Although the UK had to admit to a trespassing, both governments agreed that it was a misunderstanding, seeing as there was no aggression behind it. Iceland also stressed that the ramming of the fishing vessel wasn’t intentional. Both parties separated ways peacefully and with renewed cooperation in mind.