Hillary Clinton Stands Up for Iceland at Arctic Summit Skip to content

Hillary Clinton Stands Up for Iceland at Arctic Summit

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton harshly criticized the Canadian government for neither inviting Iceland, Finland, Sweden nor the native Arctic nations to a summit on Arctic affairs that was held in Ottawa yesterday.

From Greenland, which was represented by Denmark at the summit. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

“We are very satisfied with the reaction of the US Secretary of State,” Foreign Minister of Iceland Össsur Skarphédinsson told visir.is. “We have in fact been trying to get our viewpoints across to the US government through the foreign service.”

Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Lawrence Cannon had invited his American, Russian, Norwegian and Danish counterpart to an Arctic summit in relation to a G8 summit, which was also held in Canada.

All of these five states have a seat on the Arctic council but so do the nations that were snubbed. “I don’t know why this meeting was held,” Skarphédinsson said. “This is the second time that such a meeting is held outside the domain of the Arctic Council.”

“We believe it is wrong to keep us out of the loop when these affairs are discussed because we believe that everyone who have interests to protect should participate in the discussions, also the native people who live in these countries,” the minister added.

In an interview with German magazine Spiegel, Catharine Loubier, spokesperson for the Canadian Foreign Ministry, justified the five-state summit by saying it was only thought of as a meeting between states that have borders to the Arctic Ocean.

That is not the case with Iceland, Finland and Sweden, Loubier explained. According to visir.is, the native people of the Arctic regions probably weren’t invited because they don’t directly represent any government.

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