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The meeting in Juneau, Alaska, will work on some of the final details in preparation for the council’s biennal meeting on May 8, in Fairbanks, including things like scientific co-operation, telecommunications, health and the environment. Finland, which assumes the chairmanship after the US, can also be expected to present the final details of its two-year agenda.
One question many will be eager to have answered is who will represent the host country during its final meeting as chair.
As its name suggests, the ministerial meetings are attended by cabinet members from each of the Arctic states, typically a foreign minister. The two previous US secretaries of state were the first members of a US cabinet to attend an Arctic Council ministerial meeting.
Enquiring minds will be looking for clues as to whether their successor, Rex Tillerson, will make it three in a row.