The Arctic Council is hoping to manage the new opportunities in a responsible way. It includes former Cold War foes U.S. and Russia, but Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere said governments were prepared to deepen cooperation "in a region that used to be frozen, both politically and climatically."

"Now there is a thaw," he said.

Last year in Greenland, Clinton and her counterparts from other nations took a small step toward international cooperation by agreeing to coordinate Arctic search-and-rescue missions for stranded sailors and others.

Officials are now trying to enhance the cooperation, including through joint plans to prevent oil spills in an environment that would make cleanup a logistical nightmare.

The U.S. has been championing measures such as shifting away from dirty diesel engines, agricultural burning and hydrofluorocarbons to lessen the effect of short-lived greenhouse gases that are a particularly potent source of climate change in the Arctic.

___

Online:

Arctic Council: http://www.arctic-council.org

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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