QUESTION: Foreign Minister Freeland, how do you respond to Secretary Pompeo’s comments disputing Canada’s claim to the Northwest Passage?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Good morning. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: Good morning. Thank you.

FOREIGN MINISTER FREELAND: Yes. Good to see everybody.

Let me say a couple of things. First of all, Canada is very clear about the Northwest Passage being Canadian. There is both a very strong historic and geographic connection with Canada. Having said that, we collaborate closely with all of the members of the Arctic Council. One country is our neighbor, our neighbor to north and to the south, and we have a very close, very fruitful collaboration. And actually, as we see the conditions of the Northwest Passage changing with our changing climate, I think that’s actually grounds for closer collaboration with the United States.

SECRETARY POMPEO: The challenges in the Arctic aren’t between the United States and Canada, let me assure you. There are others that threaten to use it in ways that are not consistent with the rule of law. And so we’ll continue to have great conversations on these issues with our close friends, the Canadians.

PARTICIPANT: Okay, thank you, press.

QUESTION: Thank you.

U.S. Department of State

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