Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Canada and Denmark end diplomatic dispute to divide Arctic island

Denmark and Canada will divide small, uninhabited Hans Island in the Arctic, ending an almost 50-year ownership spat, in a largely symbolic act of diplomacy designed to avoid tensions in the high North. The NATO allies have been engaged in a mostly good-natured squabble over the island, situated at equal distance between Greenland and Canada’s Ellesmere Island, since 1971 when their rival claims came to light. Canada and Denmark will divide the 1.2 square-kilometre (0.75 square miles) island into two almost equally large parts along a naturally occurring cleft on the rocky outcrop, according to a deal published by the Danish Foreign Ministry on Tuesday. “As global security is being threatened, it’s more important than ever for democracies like Canada and the Kingdom of Denmark to work together alongside indigenous peoples, to resolve our differences in accordance with international law, Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said in a statement. (https://uk.investing.com/news/world-news/canada-and-denmark-divide-small-arctic-island-ending-ownership-dispute-2669072) Greenland is an autonomous territory within the Kingdom of Denmark. It leaves Copenhagen to manage certain policy areas, including foreign and security policy.

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