The great “whiskey war” between Denmark and Canada – their friendly territorial dispute over a bare and uninhabited rock in the Arctic – has come to an end after 49 years.
The disagreement over who owns half a square mile of Hans Island has been a source of heartfelt friction between the two peoples for decades.
But now the countries have agreed to divide the small island between them in a move they hope will send a “clear signal” that border conflicts can be resolved peacefully and pragmatically.
Canada en Denmark agreed in 1973 to form a border through the Straits of Nares, halfway between Greenland and Canada, but they could not agree on which country would have sovereignty over Hans Island, some 684 kilometers south of the North Pole.
Eventually, they decided to work out the issue of ownership later.
In the following years, the territorial dispute – nicknamed the “whiskey war” by the media – repeatedly turned heads.
In 1984, the Danish Minister of Greenland hoisted a Danish flag on the island, buried a bottle of Danish snaps at the base of the flagpole and left a note: “Welcome to the Danish island.”
Not to be outdone, Canadians then planted their own Maple Leaf flag on the island, leaving behind a bottle of Canadian brandy.
The “dispute” would rage for decades, with the two countries taking turns lifting their colors and leaving bottles with spirits.
The new agreement comes into force after the internal procedures of both countries have been completed. In Denmark, the parliament must first approve the agreement.
“It sends a clear signal that it is possible to resolve border conflicts … in a pragmatic and peaceful way, in which all parties become winners,” said Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod.
He said it was “an important signal now that there is a lot of war and unrest in the world”.
Canada and Denmark agree to end Arctic island dispute | World news
Source link Canada and Denmark agree to end Arctic island dispute | World news