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First discovered by the Norwegians in the 12th century, the islands served as an international whaling base during the 17th and 18th centuries. Norway's sovereignty was recognized in 1920; five years later it officially took over the territory.


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Government

Country name
Conventional long form None
Conventional short form
Svalbard (sometimes referred to as Spitsbergen)

Dependency status
Territory of Norway; administered by the Polar Department of the Ministry of Justice, through a governor (sysselmann) residing in Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen; by treaty (9 February 1920) sovereignty was awarded to Norway

Government type
NA

Capital
Name Longyearbyen
Geographic coordinates 78 13 N, 15 38 E
Time difference
UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Daylight saving time
+1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Independence
None (territory of Norway)

Legal system
The laws of Norway where applicable apply

Executive branch
Chief of state
King HARALD V of Norway (since 17 January 1991)
Head of government
Governor Odd Olsen INGERO (since September 2009); Assistant Governor Lars Erik ALHEIM
Elections
None; the monarchy is hereditary; governor and assistant governor responsible to the Polar Department of the Ministry of Justice

Political pressure groups and leaders
NA

International organization participation
None

Flag description
The flag of Norway is used

National anthem
Note
As a territory of Norway, "Ja, vi elsker dette landet" is official (see Norway)


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  Svalbard [ Norway ] (Norway):


  GPS points from Svalbard [ Norway ] (Norway)

Haitanna Svalbard

Storbaien Svalbard And Jan Mayen (general)

Goose Island Svalbard And Jan Mayen (general)

Tatjanapasset Svalbard

Mount Baldhead Svalbard


Ellas Sjo Svalbard

Austbotnen Svalbard




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