Trump Calls Off Visit over Denmark’s Refusal to Discuss Sale of Greenland
The US President has used the questionable “Greenland sale” issue as a pretext to cancel his planned trip to Copenhagen.
US President Donald Trump has announced in a tweet he is canceling his planned visit to Denmark over the latter’s refusal to even discuss the possibility of selling Greenland, one of the Overseas Countries and Territories of the EU, to the United States.
The fact that Trump is interested in the possible acquisition of Greenland, the world’s largest island, from the Kingdom of Denmark, the way the United States bought Alaska from Russia in 1867, was reported by US media last week.
As the revelation caused bewilderment, ridicule, and even outrage in Greenland, Denmark, and elsewhere in the EU, Trump even joked about it by tweeting a photo collage of a skyscraper named “Trump” against the background of Greenland’s landscape, with the comment, “I promise not to do this in Greenland.”
As Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen made it clear discussing the sale of Greenland to the United States was out of the question, the US President declared he was not going to Denmark as planned.
“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 wrote on Twitter.
“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. I thank her for that and look forward to rescheduling sometime in the future!” he added in a follow-up tweet.
Leading Danish politicians have reacted with dismay at Trump’s advances on Greenland.
“As a Dane (and a conservative) it is very hard to believe. For no reason Trump assumes that (an autonomous) part of our country is for sale. Then insultingly cancels a visit that everybody was preparing for. Are parts of the US for sale? Alaska? Please show more respect,” tweeted Rasmus Jarlov, an MP for the Conservative party and former business minister
Earlier this week, while on a visit in Greenland, Danish Prime Minister said a greater US military presence on the island was “unavoidable” because of the increasing interest in the Arctic region spurred by global warming.
“Fortunately, we’ve seen peaceful development in the Arctic in recent years and there is all the reason in the world to continue to support that. But we can see a rising interest in the Arctic from other countries, which impacts the security aspect – something we must react to,” Frederiksen told TV2 News, as cited by The Copenhagen Post.
“For years we have stood for the opposite [of aggression] and I still believe that is the correct starting point. We are a part of NATO where the members are one another’s most important allies, so in regards to a military presence, we will need to keep up with developments,” she added.
Greenland, with a total population of 56,000 people, is one of the countries of the Kingdom of Denmark (alongside Denmark and the Faroe Islands), and has been a member of the Association of the Overseas Countries and Territories of the European Union (OCTA) since 2000, a body comprising 22 members. The citizens of Greenland are also EU citizens.
(Banner image: Donald Trump on Twitter)