Meeting between Canada and the United States on the sidelines of the Arctic Council summit – Eye on the Arctic

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Canadian Foreign Minister Mark Garneau met on the sidelines of the Ministerial Summit of the Arctic Council in Reykjavik, Iceland. (Saul Loeb / Reuters)
Canadian Foreign Minister Mark Garneau met Wednesday in Reykjavik, Iceland, with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. This meeting, organized outside the 12th Ministerial Meeting of the Arctic Council, was an opportunity for the two men to discuss many of the issues of the day.

The US Secretary of State reiterated Washington’s commitment to work with Ottawa on a number of issues affecting the polar regions, particularly with regard to the climate crisis, sustainable development, the scientific research sector, defense and the “well-being” of indigenous communities.

In recent years, the Arctic has become a center of geopolitical tensions occurring on this planet especially between major powers such as China, Russia and the United States.

“Our primary focus is on what brings us here today, which is the Arctic Council meeting and a shared commitment to work to preserve this region as a place of peaceful cooperation and positive human activities,” said Mr. Blinken.

For his part, the Canadian foreign minister reiterated Canada’s intentions to act on priorities related to the Arctic population, an increasingly desirable strategic region for its natural resources, access to which is now accessed due to global warming. the climate.

“It is important to take into account the indigenous peoples who have lived in the polar region for thousands of years, to develop them carefully, but in a sustainable way, and of course to take into account the environmental changes that are occurring in a great way,” said Marc Garneau.

Canada and the United States have a strong and lasting relationship and we have a lot in common when it comes to the Arctic. “Mark Garneau, Canadian Foreign Minister

Iceland holds the Presidency of the Arctic Council until May 20, 2021, when the country must deliver the baton to Russia. As such, Reykjavik is currently hosting the final meeting of ministers for the Regional Forum, which brings together the United States, Russia, Canada and other countries on its northernmost borders. Note that European countries, as well as China and India, are observer members.

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The US Secretary of State returned to the Icelandic Presidency of the Council, which praised its “judgment” in this period in which a global pandemic spread. “We look forward to meeting about the work that Iceland has done, and then preparing to hand over the baton to Russia for its presidency.”

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