Norway will help Iceland in maintaining its sovereignty, and the two nations will sign this week an agreement which will cover surveillance and military defense of Icelandic air space and economic zone, said reports reaching here from Oslo on Tuesday.
This will mean that Norwegian jet fighters and surveillance aircraft will be patrolling Icelandic air space, Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten reports.
Norway will also be assisting in providing air/sea search and rescue helicopters, the report said.
Iceland asked for this agreement after the United States has ended its military presence on Iceland, which does not have defense forces of its own, by withdrawing from the Keflavik air base, according to Aftenposten.
It is underlined that the agreement with Norway only covers peace time. In case of a military conflict it is still NATO and the Washington that will carry the main responsibility for Iceland 's defense.
Iceland is a charter member of NATO.