Greenlandic premier hails environment and rescue as top priorities

The Greenlandic Prime Minister says that climate change and search & rescue co-ordinations are now the biggest national security issues facing the Arctic region — and not traditional military issues.

Kuupik Kleist has been on an official visit to Iceland, and during his time in Reykjavik, he told reporters that Greenlanders are not especially worried about military security; even though the melting of Arctic ice is opening up new shipping channels.

“The classic politics of military security are not the most important security issues facing the Arctic today. We have, on the other hand, got to concentrate on our wide-ranging co-operation with the Icelanders, and others, in the fields of search & rescue and the environment,” he said.

Just a few weeks ago, Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands signed a joint action plan on Arctic issues, which Kleist says is first-and-foremost a confirmation of the course which is already being pursued.

Kleist celebrates the fact that the trilateral agreement between the nations making up the present-day Kingdom of Denmark states that Arctic inhabitants should be able to use their resources to improve their standard of living, Visir.is reported.

Kleist thanked the Icelandic government for inviting him to visit as soon as he became Greenlandic leader in 2009; and apologised that it took him so long to take them up on the offer.

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