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Trump cancels trip to Denmark after Greenland spat

Trump cancels trip to Denmark after Greenland spat

Last week, president confirmed reports about his long-held interest in buying Greenland from Denmark
Trump cancels trip to Denmark after Greenland spat
President Donald Trump during a meeting with the president of Romania in the Oval Office in Washington, Aug. 20, 2019.
Photographer: Doug Mills/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Tuesday night abruptly canceled a trip to Denmark, writing on Twitter that because the country’s prime minister, Mette Frederiksen, “would have no interest in discussing the purchase of Greenland,” they would meet “another time.”

Trump was scheduled to visit Copenhagen on Sept. 2-3, after being invited by Queen Margrethe II. The president was expected to participate in a series of bilateral meetings and meet with business leaders, and Frederiksen had underscored the importance of the session, calling the United States “Denmark’s most important and strongest ally in NATO.”

Last week, Trump confirmed reports about his long-held interest in buying Greenland from Denmark, a land deal he has become interested in because of Greenland’s natural resources, like coal and uranium.

“Well, a lot of things can be done,” Trump said Sunday. “Essentially, it’s a large real estate deal.”

But Trump also claimed that discussing a potential purchase of Greenland, a semi-autonomous territory reliant on Danish support, was not the purpose of his trip to Denmark. “We may be going to Denmark, but not for this reason at all,” he said, and claimed again over the weekend that the purchase was not “No. 1 on the burner.”

But Tuesday night, Trump scrapped the visit.

Trump said he was reacting to Frederiksen’s hard rejection of his interest. “Greenland is not for sale,” she told a Danish newspaper this week. “Greenland is not Danish. Greenland belongs to Greenland. I strongly hope that this is not meant seriously.”

Apparently, it was.

“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 tweeted. “I thank her for that and look forward to rescheduling sometime in the future!”

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