Critics lukewarm on US plans in Arctic

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By LARA JAKES, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new U.S. strategy for the Arctic region has gotten a lukewarm response from a think-tank that says the plan amounts to a "lengthy wish list" with few specifics.

The tepid feedback from the Washington-based Arctic Institute comes as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry heads Monday to Sweden for a meeting of foreign ministers focused on Arctic issues.

Syria, Iran and Afghanistan also are on Kerry's agenda for discussion with top Swedish officials.

The Arctic Institute praised the new White House strategy for at least outlining U.S. priorities in the icy region. But it called the plan short on specifics and funding.

Global warming has melted sea ice to levels that have prompted a rush to the Arctic for its untapped oil and gas reserves.

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