Canada and Denmark signed the agreement on June 14 that ends the border dispute over the sovereignty of Hans Island, a 1.3 square kilometer territory located in the Arctic, between the Danish autonomous territory of Greenland and the Canadian island of Ellesmere. This discord was called “The Whiskey War”.
The ceremony took place in Ottawa, the Canadian capital, where Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly received her Danish counterpart, Jeppe Kofod, according to a press release from the Nordic country’s foreign ministry.
This agreement establishes the division of the island territory into equal parts, following the route of a natural fissure that crosses it longitudinally in a north-south direction. Likewise, a maritime border of nearly 3,000 kilometers has been defined, from the Lincoln Sea to the Labrador Sea, the note explains.
“It is truly a historic day. We discussed sovereignty over Tartupaluk [nombre en lengua inuit de la isla] for over 50 years. After intense negotiations over the past few years, we have reached a solution. Our efforts demonstrate a strong common commitment to the peaceful resolution of international disputes,” said Minister Joly.
Hans Island is uninhabited and has no vegetation or wildlife. However, it has traditional, symbolic and historical significance for the indigenous peoples of the region, who were consulted during the negotiations. With what was agreed this Tuesday, the continuity of access and freedom of movement throughout the island for all these communities is also guaranteed.
End of the “whiskey war”
The dispute over ownership of the small island dates back to 1973, when the two countries were negotiating a maritime boundary and decided not to include it and leave that issue to the future.
In 1984, a Danish minister who visited the islet placed a flag of his country and a plaque reading “Welcome to this Danish island”, leaving behind a bottle of the most popular national brandy. The Canadians removed the flag and placed theirs next to a Canadian whisky. Since then, the brawl has been known as the ‘Whiskey War’ and has spawned a tradition in which Canadians and Danes repeatedly trade flags and bottles of liquor whenever the issue is unresolved. .
“We are ending the dispute that many in the press have called the ‘whisky war’, hoping that this negotiation can ‘inspire’ players in other conflicts to find peaceful solutions.
During the signing of the treaty on Tuesday, the parties exchanged alcoholic beverages in reference to tradition.
(from Russia Today)
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