Defense chiefs from eight Arctic nations agreed on Friday to cooperate more closely to deal with disasters and search and rescue operations in the remote resource-rich region, Canada’s top soldier said.
As the Arctic warms up, major nations are jostling for influence in a frozen part of the world believed to contain vast reserves of oil, gas, gold, diamonds, zinc and iron.
Canada’s chief of the defense staff told Reuters that the inaugural meeting of top Arctic military officials had vowed to work together in a region where there is little infrastructure and coping with a disaster could be very difficult.
As well as Canada, the United States and Russia – which account for the vast majority of the Arctic – Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden also attended. Natynczyk said the defense chiefs had agreed to meet once a year from now on.
“The climate … is changing and therefore areas that heretofore have been inaccessible really are now open for much longer in the year,” Natynczyk said in a phone interview.
NotesImage Credit: NASA
The source article Arctic generals agree closer ties at historic meet was published April 15, 2012 by Reuters via Yahoo! News .