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Originally published Saturday, January 9, 2010 at 10:00 AM

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Spain reassures Iceland on EU entry bid

The European Union presidency is assuring Iceland that the political fallout following the collapse of an Icelandic bank will not affect its bid to join the EU.

The Associated Press

REYKJAVIK, Iceland —

The European Union presidency is assuring Iceland that the political fallout following the collapse of an Icelandic bank will not affect its bid to join the EU.

Iceland's foreign ministry says in a statement that Foreign Minister Ossur Skarphedinsson spoke on Saturday with his Spanish counterpart, Miguel Angel Moratinos.

It says Moratinos indicated that the EU presidency, which is currently with Spain, saw Iceland's application to join the union as separate from the crisis over the so-called Icesave bill.

Iceland must call a referendum after its president on Tuesday blocked the bill, which would pay Britain and the Netherlands for losses from the collapse of Internet bank Icesave. Spain had warned earlier that Iceland's bid to join the EU could be delayed by the dispute.

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