U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson signed an agreement recognizing the landmark Paris climate accord at a meeting of Arctic nations in Alaska on May 11, but said President Donald Trump was not rushing to decide whether to leave or weaken U.S. commitments to the pact.

Trump's efforts to dilute U.S. climate policies have made the country an outlier on the issue and put Tillerson in an awkward position at a meeting of the Arctic Council.

The council meets every two years to tackle climate change and other problems facing the North.

The Arctic agreement Tillerson signed with foreign ministers from the other seven nations of the council, including Russia, Canada and Norway, made only a passing reference to the Paris pact. It noted "entry into force" of the pact and its implementation and called for global action to reduce greenhouse gas pollution.

Still, Tillerson's signing of the document surprised a source close to the State Department. "We'd heard ... that there would likely be a significant U.S. effort to redline or even remove entirely the Paris and climate language," said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the talks.

Tillerson came around to the agreement after hours of debate following a dinner the council members ate together on May 10, Denmark's Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen told Reuters. The ministers stressed to Tillerson the business benefits, as well as the advantages to the environment and Arctic natives, of taking action on climate, Samuelsen said. Tillerson, a former chief executive of ExxonMobil is one of Trump's advisers who supports staying in the agreement.

"He was happy about it; he seemed to be satisfied. We all were because it's a big step," Samuelsen said.

It was unclear how much influence the Arctic agreement would influence Trump's decision.

Tillerson told the council the Trump administration was reviewing how it will approach climate change but was not going to rush to make a decision on Paris. "We are appreciative that each of you has an important point of view," Tillerson said. "We are going to make the right decision for the United States."

Trump is expected to make a decision on Paris after a Group of Seven summit at the end of May.