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Fairbanks to host 2017 Arctic ministerial meeting

The 2017 ministerial meeting of the Arctic Council will take place in Fairbanks, Adm. Robert Papp, the U.S. State Department's special representative for the Arctic, announced Monday at a conference in Tromsø, Norway.

The announcement was relayed by the U.S. Arctic Council on its Facebook page. The U.S. currently chairs the multicountry Arctic Council, and the 2017 ministerial meeting will be the culminating event of that chairmanship.

The U.S. assumed the chair at the 2015 ministerial in Iqaluit, Nunavut, at the conclusion of Canada's two-year term.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski cheered the announcement in a statement; she has been pushing for the upcoming meeting of U.S. and foreign leaders to take place in Fairbanks.

"I have long advocated that Alaska not only host the Arctic Ministerial Meeting, but that it be held as close to the U.S. Arctic region as possible," Murkowski said. "The University of Alaska Fairbanks is home to some of the most current research and leading experts on a variety of Arctic issues. ... This will be an amazing opportunity for the world's leaders to see firsthand both the challenges and opportunities facing the Arctic."

The Arctic Council ministerial was last held in the U.S. in 2000, when it was hosted in Barrow.

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