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Home >> World
UPDATED: 09:31, September 19, 2005
Canada, Denmark to sign protocol over disputed Arctic island
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Canada and Denmark are planning to call a truce in the war of words over disputed Hans Island, a patch of Arctic rock each country claims as its own, local media reported on Sunday.

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew and his Danish counterpart, Per Stig Moller, plan to announce in New York on Monday that the two countries will draft a protocol for managing their dealings over the tiny island, local media cited insiders as saying on Sunday.

The ministers are at the United Nations for the organization's 60th anniversary summit.

Neither Canada nor Denmark intends to renounce its claim to sovereignty over the windswept outcrop, meaning they have effectively agreed to disagree about ownership, the report said.

One source close to the negotiations said the disagreement is solely about national sovereignty.

Uninhabited Hans Island, the size of several city blocks, sits in the Kennedy Channel of Nares Strait between Canada's Ellesmere Island and Greenland, which is controlled by Denmark.

The two countries were unable to decide its ownership when they drew a border in 1973.

Canadian Defence Minister Bill Graham rankled Danish officials by making an unannounced stop on Hans Island during a trip to the Arctic in July. The visit touched off a diplomatic dustup between the NATO allies.

The Danish government made it clear to Canada's ambassador in Copenhagen that it frowned upon Graham's move. In a similar vein, Canada had formally protested the planting of Danish flags on Hans Island in 1984, 1988 and 2004.

Source: Xinhua

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