Alaska strengthens ties on gas pipeline

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Posted: Tuesday, November 01, 2005

VANCOUVER, B.C. (AP) — British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell and Alaska Gov. Frank Murkowski signed a memorandum of cooperation Monday, aimed at enhancing economic development opportunities and creating stronger ties.

''Alaska is a natural and important partner for British Columbia and we've been working toward a stronger and more productive relationship since 2001,'' Campbell said in a statement.

''Governor Murkowski's long experience and contacts in Washington, D.C., make him a powerful advocate for our shared interests in economic development, border security and free trade,'' he said.

''I look forward to working closely with him to further our goals on issues like softwood lumber and the proposed passport requirement to enter the U.S.''

Murkowski noted that in the last two years he has signed cooperation agreements with Alberta and Yukon.

''British Columbia is a natural addition to our framework of intergovernmental cooperation,'' he said. ''We have our differences, but our similarities in climate, geography, economics, and resources far outweigh those differences.''

The memorandum commits British Columbia and Alaska to cooperate in areas such as economic development, energy, environment, mining, tourism, transportation and wildlife management.

Campbell and Murkowski will assign officials in their offices to work together and the two leaders will meet periodically, the leaders said in their joint release.

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