REYKJAVIK, Iceland, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- NATO announced plans to hold a seminar in Iceland on the thawing of the arctic ice cap and the growing military presence in the region.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, in partnership with the Icelandic government, will hold a seminar in Iceland's capital of Reykjavik in cooperation with the NATO Defense College in Iceland scheduled for Jan. 28-29, NATO reported.
Officials say the conference will focus on the potential militarization of the Arctic Circle to protect the natural resources in the region that are becoming easier to access as a result of the warming trend and emergence of new transnational shipping lanes.
"The economic interests are reflected in a growing global awareness in the region, competing claims by relevant stakeholders, and resumed military presence in the area," the release said.
NATO officials say the strategic importance of the region for security requires a "careful and ongoing examination."