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US opens first diplomatic mission in Arctic

US opens first diplomatic mission in Arctic

The United States has its first diplomatic field office north of the Arctic Circle in Tromsö, northern Norway. Climate change and cooperation with indigenous peoples should be the focus of the post.

The United States has announced the opening of its first embassy north of the Arctic Circle. The focus of the outpost in Tromsö, northern Norway, will be on climate change and cooperation with indigenous peoples, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said at a meeting with colleagues from other NATO countries in Oslo on Thursday.

The United States wanted to work with “like-minded allies” to advance “our vision of a peaceful, stable, prosperous and cooperative Arctic.” The mission in Tromsö, the largest city in Norwegian Lapland, is said to be an observation post. These are usually managed by a US embassy only.

Norway and the United States joined the Arctic

Norway’s Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt wrote in an email from his office that he was “very pleased” with the US decision. “Norway and the United States have a long history of working closely together on Arctic issues,” Hudfeldt said. He expressed hope that this will further strengthen our cooperation with the United States.

The US, Russia and China consider the Arctic region to be of strategic importance. Global warming may open up new economic opportunities there, for example mineral resources and fishing. It is also anticipated that the previously frozen waterways will be opened to merchant and military vessels in the future.