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International relations

Arctic Council adopts first strategic vision for High North

But economic development expected to spark disputes over maritime routes

Foreign ministers of the eight-member Arctic Council adopted a strategic plan May 20 to promote sustainable development in the region. These nations include the U.S. and Russia, while Japan and China hold observer status.    © Reuters

BRUSSELS -- Foreign ministers from the eight Arctic Council nations adopted the forum's first strategic plan to combat climate change and promote sustainable economic development in the sensitive region during their meeting Thursday in Iceland's capital, Reykjavik.

The members, which include the U.S., Russia and Canada, outlined policy objectives through 2030 and agreed in the plan that "norms and standards that affect Arctic waters" need to be developed, as maritime activity increases with the melting of the ice.

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