Denmark gears up for more Hans-on negotiations with Canada

Ownership of the tiny Hans Island has remained undecided for decades

November 22nd, 2012 12:44 pm| by admin

The long-time dispute over Hans Island is set to resume next week in Ottawa, according to Greenlandic newspaper Sermitsiaq.

Ownership of the 1.3 sq km island has been a hotly contested issue between Denmark and Canada since the 1970s, and the negotiations show no sign of letting up yet.

The Danish foreign minister, Villy Søvndal (Socialistisk Folkeparti), arrived in Nuuk on Tuesday to begin talks with Greenland’s prime minister, Kuupik Kleist. Søvndal will also meet with the Canadian foreign affairs minister, John Baird, next week.

The most recent negotiations in April resulted in an agreement to split the island between the two countries by connecting the maritime boundary at the southern edge of the island with the border at the northern tip.

The agenda for this round of discussions is two-fold: decide how to connect those boundaries, and determine the ownership of the unpopulated island.

Søvndal said he looks forward to reaching a solution.

“I’m going to Canada to get even further in these negotiations, but I think that it is too early to conclude the process. We’re not quite at the end of the road yet,” he told Sermitsiaq.

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