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Arctic becoming popular with international politicians

15 March 2012 Last updated at 12:02 GMT

A group of islands in the Norwegian Arctic called Svalbard is becoming a surprisingly popular destination for international politicians.

The European Union's High Representative, Baroness Ashton, is the latest to visit the northernmost inhabited place on earth.

She has been flagging her interest in the opportunities offered by the region - from climate change research to energy exploration.

Paul Henley reports.