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Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019

Donald Trump cancels meeting with Danish leader over Greenland no-sale

The US president told reporters that buying Greenland, which is part of the Kingdom of Denmark but has extensive home rule, would be “a large real estate deal” that could ease a financial burden on Denmark, but Denmark’s prime minister did not want to talk about a possible US purchase of the island of Greenland.

world Updated: Aug 22, 2019 07:49 IST
John Harney
John Harney
Bloomberg
Donald Trump cancels the meeting with Denmark’s Prime Minister.
Donald Trump cancels the meeting with Denmark’s Prime Minister.(Reuters photo)
         

President Donald Trump said he would be putting off a planned meeting with Denmark’s prime minister because she did not want to talk about a possible US purchase of the island of Greenland.

“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 in a Twitter post on Tuesday night.

“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!” the president wrote.

Trump had been scheduled to make a state visit to Denmark on Sept. 2 on the invitation of Queen Margrethe II.

Hours before the trip was called off, Carla Sands, the U.S. ambassador to Denmark, tweeted that the Scandinavian country was “ready for the POTUS @realDonaldTrump visit! Partner, ally, friend.”

Earlier this week, the president told reporters that buying Greenland, which is part of the Kingdom of Denmark but has extensive home rule, would be “a large real estate deal” that could ease a financial burden on Denmark.

Frederiksen had ruled out any sale. Danish officials have been adamant about no-sale since reports emerged last week that Trump had directed advisers and lawyers to review a possible deal.

“Greenland isn’t for sale, Greenland isn’t Danish, Greenland is Greenlandic,” she said Sunday during a visit to Greenland, according to local newspaper Sermitsiaq. “I keep trying to hope that this isn’t something that was seriously meant.”

Larry Kudlow, head of the National Economic Council, earlier Sunday said Greenland is a “strategic place” rich in valuable minerals and that discussions are continuing.

“The president, who knows a thing or two about buying real estate, wants to take a look at a potential Greenland purchase,” Kudlow said on “Fox News Sunday.”

However serious White House discussions of a sale might have been, the topic prompted jokes on both sides of the Atlantic since Trump’s interest was first reported. He got into the act on Monday night with a tweet showing an image of a golden Trump tower on an austere Greenland landscape. “I promise not to do this to Greenland,” Trump wrote.

(The story has been published from a wire feed without any modifications to the text, only the headline has been changed.)

First Published: Aug 21, 2019 10:07 IST