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Veteran diplomat becomes new US envoy for Arctic as Washington seeks greater role in region

Veteran diplomat becomes new US envoy for Arctic as Washington seeks greater role in region

The Trump administration on Wednesday named a special envoy for the Arctic, filling a post that had been vacant for more than three years. Washington is seeking a greater role in the region, trying to blunt growing Russian and Chinese influence there.

The State Department’s appointment of veteran career diplomat Jim DeHart to be US coordinator for the Arctic came just a week after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo vowed enhanced US engagement in the Arctic, speaking during a visit to Denmark, AP reported.

The US opened a consulate in the semi-autonomous Danish territory of Greenland earlier this year as part of its new Arctic strategy.

The post of the envoy for the Arctic had been created during the Obama administration but remained vacant since President Donald Trump took office and the previous coordinator, retired Coast Guard Adm. Robert Papp, stepped down.