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Experts from all eight Arctic nations are gathering in the United States on Wednesday to sign a historic deal for their coast guards to work together in the treacherous but increasingly accessible waters of the North.

“The ACGF will be an operationally-focused organization that strengthens maritime cooperation and coordination in the Arctic,” said Lisa Novak, a spokesperson for the U.S. Coast Guard. “The Forum will help to implement Arctic Council agreements, but also acts as an independent body making its own decisions and work plans that focus on Arctic operations.”

Novak said the impetus for creating the ACGF grew out of the...

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