Trump Cancels Denmark Visit After Learning Greenland Is Not For Sale
President Donald Trump announced Wednesday he will not visit Denmark next month, after the Danish prime minister rebuffed his proposal to buy Greenland.
Trump announced his decision by tweet after the Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen dismissed the notion of selling the semi-autonomous territory to the U.S. as “an absurd discussion.”
“Denmark is a very special country with incredible people, but based on Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s comments, that she would have no interest in discussing the purchase of Greenland, I will be postponing our meeting scheduled in two weeks for another time,” Trump said.
The decision caught Denmark’s royal palace by “surprise.” Lene Balleby, a spokeswoman for the palace told The Associated Press the household, which formally had invited Trump to visit Denmark Sep. 2 and 3 as part of a European trip, had no further comments.
Prime Minister Frederiksen said during a meeting with reporters that she too was surprised and disappointed by the president’s decision.
Frederiksen told reporters that “the United States is one of our closest allies” and “the invitation for a stronger strategic cooperation with the Americans in the Arctic is still open.”
But she also said she is standing by the government head of Greenland, the semi-autonomous Danish territory that U.S. President Donald Trump wanted to buy.
Frederiksen said “a discussion about a potential sale of Greenland has been put forward. It has been rejected by Greenland Premier Kim Kielsen, and I fully stand behind that rejection.”
Frederiksen also said relations between Copenhagen and Washington “are not in any crisis in my opinion.”
“I don’t believe that the cancellation should have any influence on other matters,” she said.
Trump had said Sunday that he was interested in buying Greenland for strategic purposes, but said a purchase was not a priority at this time. Both Frederiksen and Kielsen responded that Greenland is not for sale.
“The Prime Minister was able to save a great deal of expense and effort for both the United States and Denmark by being so direct,” Trump said. “I thank her for that and look forward to rescheduling sometime in the future!”
Greenland sits between the Atlantic and Arctic oceans. A 1.7-million-square-kilometer ice sheet covers 80 percent of the island. While retreating ice could uncover a wealth of oil and mineral resources, that’s still a matter of speculation.
To date no oil has been found in the waters off Greenland and conditions, particularly in the winter, when temperatures regularly dropping below minus 30 Celsius (minus 20 Fahrenheit), make looking for it extremely difficult.
In The News
China appears keen to bring piracy back as an instrument of foreign policy, but the days of eye patches and wooden legs are long gone. Instead, Beijing’s most effective raiding parties prefer business suits and briefcases, thus allowing them to ransack and plunder under the guise... Read More
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has agreed to contribute $108 million to the World Health Organization to fight COVID-19, polio, flu and other diseases in vulnerable countries, even as the U.S. prepares to withdraw from the institution he blames for early missteps in the coronavirus pandemic.... Read More
TOKYO (AP) — Japan's longest-serving prime minister, Shinzo Abe, said Friday he is stepping down because a chronic health problem has resurfaced. He told reporters that it was “gut wrenching” to leave many of his goals unfinished. Abe has had ulcerative colitis since he was a... Read More
WASHINGTON — An arms-extortion scandal with Ukraine; a crash-and-burn peace plan for Israel and the Palestinians; insults to allies while cozying up to adversaries — the foreign policy agenda of President Donald Trump has been, pretty literally, all over the map. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden... Read More
MOSCOW (AP) — Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny is in a coma and on a ventilator in a hospital intensive care unit after falling ill from suspected poisoning that his allies believe is linked to his political activity. The 44-year-old foe of Russia's President Vladimir Putin... Read More
Russia’s decision to approve a coronavirus shot before crucial tests have shown it’s safe and effective raises worries that politics will trump public health in the quest for a vaccine. The country’s plan to start mass inoculations as soon as October could put pressure on other... Read More