Saturday 10/31/20

Arctic expected to centre in talks as Pompeo visits Denmark

Last year, US President Donald Trump made headlines with an offer to buy Greenland.
England, London: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a joint press conference with his UK counterpart Dominic Raab (Not Pictured) following their meeting at Lancaster House. Photo: Peter Summers/PA Wire/dpa
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a press conference in London. Photo: Peter Summers/dpa.

Developments in the Arctic region are expected to be one of the main topics raised when US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visits Denmark on Wednesday.

Pompeo is due to meet Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and other officials in the capital, Copenhagen.

"It gives us a unique opportunity to talk about global issues of common interest such as security, trade and the importance of the Covid-19 pandemic for international cooperation," Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said ahead of the meeting.

Kofod is to host a separate meeting with Pompeo and representatives of Greenland and the Faroe Islands, autonomous territories that are part of the Kingdom of Denmark.

Interest in the Arctic region has increased in recent years, driven by its natural resources and strategic importance, amid climate change.

Last year, US President Donald Trump made headlines with an offer to buy Greenland.

Denmark - and Greenland, which has far-ranging autonomy - rejected the offer. Trump then cancelled a planned state visit to the Scandinavian country at short notice.

A power competition

Last month, the US reopened a consulate in Greenland, seen as a move to shore up Washington's presence in the Arctic region amid a power competition with China and Russia.

Kofod and Pompeo will likely also discuss the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which is to span the Baltic Sea from western Russia to northern Germany, and passes through Danish waters.

Pompeo arrives from London where he held talks on China-related issues with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.

The most recent visit by a US secretary of state to Copenhagen was in 2016. Kofod and Pompeo met last year in Washington.

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