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 You are in: Under Secretary for Political Affairs > Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs > Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Releases > Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, Other Releases > 2004

Agreement to Amend and Supplement the 1951 Agreement on the Defense of Greenland

Agreement Between The Government of the United States of America and The Government of the Kingdom of Denmark, Including the Home Rule Government of Greenland, To Amend and Supplement the Agreement of 27 April 1951 Pursuant to the North Atlantic Treaty Between The Government of the United States of America and The Government of the Kingdom of Denmark Concerning the Defense of Greenland (Defense Agreement) Including Relevant Subsequent Agreements Related Thereto
 
August 6, 2004
Released by the U.S. Embassy Copenhagen, Denmark 
 
The Parties

- Considering the development of Greenland since the conclusion of the Defense Agreement, including the change of Greenland's status from colony to that of an equal part of the Kingdom of Denmark under the Constitution and the establishment of a wide ranging Greenland Home Rule;

- Considering that the Government of the Kingdom of Denmark always consults and cooperates closely with the Home Rule Government of Greenland in affairs of state of particular importance to Greenland;

- Considering United States military activities since the conclusion of the Defense Agreement, including the reduction of defense areas in Greenland;

- Wishing to facilitate and improve local cooperation between the United States military authorities and the Danish authorities, including Greenland Home Rule authorities;

- Considering their common goal of international peace and peaceful co-existence, and respecting the important contribution of Greenland to this end;

- Acknowledging Greenland´s contribution to the mutual security interests and its consequent sharing of the associated risks and responsibilities, and the commitment of the Parties to continuing close cooperation within NATO in ensuring North Atlantic security;

NOTE and AGREE as follows:

Article 1: Defense Areas

1. Thule Air Base is the only defense area in Greenland. The provisions of Article II of the Defense Agreement shall apply to the establishment of new defense areas.

2. The flag of the Kingdom of Denmark, the flag of Greenland and the flag of the United States shall fly over Thule Air Base. To facilitate cooperation concerning the protection and internal security of Thule Air Base, Danish and Greenland authorities shall assist the United States authorities as requested and appropriate, and consistent with existing agreements and arrangements.

Article 2: NATO Status of Forces Agreement

1. The Parties note that the NATO Status of Forces Agreement (NATO SOFA) has applied in Greenland since 1955.

2. The Parties agree that the terms of Article VII of the Defense Agreement shall apply as a supplementary agreement to the NATO SOFA between the Parties.

3. The Parties agree that the terms of Article VIII of the Defense Agreement are superseded by the corresponding provisions of the NATO SOFA.

4. The Parties agree that the terms of Article IX of the Defense Agreement shall apply as a supplementary agreement to the NATO SOFA between the Parties.

5. The Parties agree that the first sentence of Article X of the Defense Agreement is deleted, and that the term "such NATO agreement" in that Article refers to the NATO SOFA.

Article 3: Local Cooperation

1. The Parties confirm that:

a. The provision contained in the final clause of the second sentence of Article VI of the Defense Agreement, relating to contact between United States personnel and the local population, was revoked in 1986 and is not in effect.

b. In the exceptional case of planned landings of military aircraft in Greenland outside airports, the Government of the United States consults with and informs the Government of the Kingdom of Denmark, including the Home Rule Government of Greenland, in order to ensure due protection of the environment and hunting areas in Greenland.

c. Consistent with the Defense Agreement, as amended herein, and the Memorandum of Understanding of March 13, 1991, and without prejudice to other relevant agreements and arrangements between the Parties, the Government of the United States will consult with and inform the Government of the Kingdom of Denmark, including the Home Rule Government of Greenland, prior to the implementation of any significant changes to United States military operations or facilities in Greenland.

2. The Parties agree that to enhance local cooperation

a. The Home Rule Government of Greenland may appoint a representative with whom the U.S. commanding officer at Thule Air Base will consult on local affairs that affect the Home Rule Government of Greenland. The appointment of such a representative does not affect the status of the Danish liaison officer in relation to the U.S. commanding officer.

b. The Parties note and declare that they shall consult without undue delay regarding any question which one of the Parties may raise concerning matters pertaining to the U.S. military presence in Greenland and covered by the Defense Agreement and this agreement. To the extent that such matters cannot be resolved through local consultation, the Parties shall consult with each other either in the Permanent Committee or through diplomatic channels, as appropriate.

Article 4: Entry Into Force and Amendment

This Agreement shall enter into force on the date of signature, and shall remain in force for the duration of the Defense Agreement. This Agreement may be amended at any time by mutual agreement of the Parties.

Done at Igaliku this sixth day of Augsut 2004 in duplicate, in the English and Danish languages, both texts being equally authentic.

For the Government of the United States

Colin L. Powell

For the Government of Kingdom of Denmark, including the America Home Rule Government of Greenland

Per Stig Møller
For the Government of Denmark

Josef Motzfeldt
For the Home Rule Government of Greenland


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