U.S. Secretary of State Tillerson will attend Arctic Council event in Fairbanks

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U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will oversee the transfer of the U.S. chairmanship of the council to Finland. (Michael Reynolds/Pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will be in Fairbanks on May 10 and 11 to attend the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting, according to the State Department.

Rumors of Tillerson’s attendance — he’ll join foreign ministers of other Arctic nations — have swirled for weeks, but the State Department declined to confirm his plans, citing security concerns.

Tillerson will oversee the transfer of the U.S. chairmanship of the council to Finland.

“Representatives from the eight Arctic states will discuss issues of mutual interest and review the accomplishments of the U.S. Arctic Council chairmanship,” according to State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert.

“On the margins of the meeting, Secretary Tillerson will host a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Arctic Council, hold bilateral meetings with his counterparts, and meet with U.S. indigenous representatives to the Arctic Council,” Nauert said in the press release.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Canada’s foreign affairs minister looks to thaw relations with Russia at Arctic summit, Radio Canada International

Denmark/Greenland:   Q&A: Impact assessments in the Arctic – What Canada and Greenland can learn from each other, Eye on the Arctic

FinlandFinnish government: New ministers named as cabinet grows, Yle News

Iceland: The Arctic Council at 20 – View from Iceland, Eye on the Arctic

Norway: Norway and Finland talk Arctic with China, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Russian and Finnish foreign ministers tackle “difficult issues” during meeting in Finland, Yle News

Sweden: Swedish foreign minister to meet Russian counterpart, Radio Sweden

United States: Senior Arctic Official David Balton on what makes Arctic Council so unique (Part 1 of 2), blog by Heather Exner-Pirot


The Arctic Council chairmanship moves from the United States to Finland on May 11, 2017 in Fairbanks, Alaska. Eye on the Arctic’s Eilís Quinn along with EOTA media partners and contributors will be bringing you stories, interviews and analysis leading up to the handover.
Read our full coverage here!

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