The place is that this tiny, uninhabited island and why has it precipitated 50 years of worldwide dispute?
A barren and uninhabited rock off the north-western coast of Greenland, Hans Island isn’t a lot to have a look at.
But for 49 years, each Denmark and Canada have claimed possession over the 1.3 sq. kilometre lump.
For many years, politicians from every nation have periodically visited the wind-battered island, planting a flag – and burying a bottle of nationwide spirits – to mark their territory.
On Tuesday, the 2 nations agreed to divide the tiny island between them. It’s unclear who will get to maintain the half-dozen bottles of Danish schnapps and Canadian brandy that guests left behind.
Who owns Hans Island?
In 1973, Canada and Denmark agreed to create a border by means of Nares Strait, midway between the semi-autonomous Danish territory of Greenland and Canada’s Ellesmere Island.
However they had been unable to agree which nation would have sovereignty over Hans Island, a wind-battered rock about 1,100 kilometers south of the North Pole.
Practically half a century after the unique settlement was deferred, the 2 nations have lastly settled the query of possession.
Beneath a brand new settlement – introduced on Tuesday – the tiny Island will likely be divided down the center.
“It sends a transparent sign that it’s doable to resolve border disputes … in a realistic and peaceable method, the place the all events develop into winners,” mentioned Danish Overseas Minister Jeppe Kofod.
He described the deal as “an necessary sign now that there’s a lot warfare and unrest on this planet.”
The settlement enters into drive after the 2 nations’ inner procedures have been accomplished. In Denmark, the Parliament should first give its consent to the settlement.
“It’s a win for Canada. It’s a win for Denmark,” Canadian Overseas Minister Mélanie Joly mentioned, alluding to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
“We’re displaying different nations how territorial disputes may be resolved … What we’re saying to President Putin is, ‘We’ve got one of the simplest ways to settle disputes.’”
What’s the whiskey warfare?
The territorial dispute — nicknamed the “whiskey warfare” by media — has raised its head a number of instances in the previous couple of a long time.
In 1984, Denmark’s minister of Greenland affairs raised a Danish flag on the island, buried a bottle of Danish schnapps on the base of the flagpole and left a notice studying, “Welcome to the Danish island.”
Canadians then planted their very own flag and left a bottle of Canadian brandy. Since then, the nations have in turns hoisted their flags and left bottles of assorted spirits in a tot-for-tot dispute.
In 2002, Nana Flensburg was a part of a Danish navy crew that stood on the cliff to carry out a flag-raising ceremony. In her diary, she wrote that “among the many stones within the cairns had been a number of bottles, glasses, and so forth. with paperwork that knowledgeable about earlier visits to the island.”
Though each nations have despatched warships to the island, there was by no means any danger of a taking pictures warfare. The rock has no identified mineral reserves of worth, and each side resolved to settle the issue peacefully and talks started in 2005.
On Tuesday, the Danish and Canadian international ministers exchanged bottles of whiskey.
The settlement means the United States will not be the one nation with which Canada shares a land border.
“We now have a border with the E.U,” Joly mentioned.
It additionally settles maritime boundaries across the island. These may have grown in significance as world warming within the Northwest Passage may open the channels of Canada’s Arctic islands and shortens the voyage from Europe to the Far East. The USA, Canada, Russia, Denmark and Norway have been staking claims within the Arctic.
The settlement additionally provides indigenous entry and rights of use to Hans island.