Summit being held in Nome to strengthen Alaskan-Chukotka ties

Posted: Wednesday, June 13, 2001

JUNEAU (AP) -- A two-day summit will be held this week in Nome to strengthen ties between Alaskans and Chukotkans.

Lt. Gov. Fran Ulmer, who will give the keynote address during the summit's first day on Wednesday, said the summit is an opportunity to bring Alaskans and Chukotkans together to explore ways to form lasting partnerships to benefit people on both sides of the Bering Strait.

Ideally, the conference could be a springboard to launch an array of projects and joint pursuits ranging from cultural exchanges to business ventures, Ulmer said.

The Knowles administration would like to see several initiatives get underway, including streamlining visa procedures, establishing direct mail services and pursuing regional initiatives to tackle cross-border issues.

Nome's Mayor Leo Rasmussen, Nome's Russian Chukotka Affairs Committee and volunteers helped organize the event. Summit participants include a 25-person Chukotka delegation, and the Alaska Department of Community & Economic Development, the Alaska Division of International Trade & Market Development, the University of Alaska and the U.S. Department of Commerce Alaska Export Assistance Center.

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