Ottawa and Copenhagen have been arguing very harmoniously for decades over a desert island in the Arctic. The two countries went to “war” on Tuesday.
Canada and Denmark finally put an end to their decades-long “war” on Tuesday, fighting with flags, whiskey and snaps in the desert and uninhabited island of the Arctic.
The two countries formally signed an agreement to share Hans Island in northwestern Greenland, thereby creating the first land border between Canada and Europe, attended by the Canadian Foreign Minister and his Danish envoy at a ceremony in Ottawa.
In a harmless stalemate for 49 years, the conflict will see the kidney-shaped island split in two and the agreement between Ottawa and Copenhagen will set a precedent for resolving regional conflicts around the world. “The Arctic serves as a beacon of international cooperation, where the rule of law prevails,” Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Jolie told AFP.
“Because of the global security threat, it is not very important for democracies like Canada and Denmark to work with indigenous peoples to resolve our differences in accordance with international law,” he added.
In a press conference with Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod, he stressed that “what many call the whiskey war” – “friendly in all wars”. Jeppe Kofot declared for his part that the resolution of the conflict had intervened at a time when “international law and order was under pressure” and that democratic values had been “attacked” in reference to the war in Ukraine.
On the contrary, we have demonstrated how long-term conflicts can be resolved peacefully by following the rules, “he said, adding that he hoped that” other nations would be encouraged to follow the same path. ” Located between Greenland.The dispute dates back to 1973 when the maritime border between the two countries was drawn.
Whiskey vs Snoops
Danes and Canadians alternately flew by helicopter to the island to celebrate territory ownership, calling for a boycott of diplomatic protests, online campaigns and Canadian Danish pastries. During these visits, they planted a flag on each side and left a bottle of whiskey or snoops on the other.
When they exchanged bottles on Tuesday, Melanie Jolie and Jeppe Cofot both laughed at the idea that Canada could now join the EU as they share a land border. The ice-covered Hans Island is uninhabitable, but the effects of climate change are bringing more maritime traffic to the Arctic and exposing its resources, especially fisheries, to greater exploitation.
However, according to Arctic expert Michael Pierce, the island is “extraordinarily distant, where it is not profitable to consider any extreme activity.” Postponing any solution to this extraordinary conflict indefinitely has long been a good opportunity for every party, especially in the run-up to the elections. “This is a completely harmless sovereign dispute between two NATO allies on a small, insignificant island,” Pierce told the AFP.
“The right moment”
Denmark feared that the defeat in the war on Hans Island would undermine its relationship with Greenland, while Canada feared that this would weaken its negotiating positions with the United States in a dispute at this time. Known to be rich in hydrocarbons.
Michael Pierce says Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has not “made Arctic sovereignty an integral part of his political identity”, which has helped “reduce temperatures.” “But most importantly, Russia has invaded Ukraine and this is the right moment to tell the world that responsible countries acknowledge their regional conflicts peacefully,” he added.