Trump calls off trip to Denmark over Greenland rebuff, Latest World News - The New Paper

Trump calls off trip to Denmark over Greenland rebuff

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WASHINGTON US President Donald Trump on Tuesday called off a visit to Denmark scheduled in September after the country's Prime Minister rebuffed his idea of buying 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," Mr Trump said in a post 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!"

A White House official said Mr Trump had dropped the Sept 2 to 3 stop in Denmark, a NATO ally.

Danes yesterday voiced shock and disbelief at the cancellation of Trump's visit, although Prime Minister Frederiksen said she believed relations would not be affected.

Greenland, which is gaining attention from world powers China, Russia and the US due to its strategic location and mineral wealth, is self-governing but underdeveloped and relies on Denmark for economic support.

Trump's decision elicited condemnation, outrage and mockery alike among Danish leaders and the public.

"So (Trump) has cancelled his visit to Denmark because there was no interest in discussing selling Greenland. Is this some sort of joke? Deeply insulting to the people of Greenland and Denmark," tweeted former premier Helle Thorning Schmidt.

Soren Espersen of the hard right Danish People's Party said Trump had effectively snubbed Queen Margrethe, Denmark's head of state. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump were formally invited to Denmark by Queen Margrethe in July.

"It shows why we now more than ever should consider (fellow) European Union countries as our closest allies. The man is unpredictable," said Morten Ostergaard, leader of the Danish Social Liberal Party.

"Reality surpasses imagination."

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, a former NATO secretary general and Danish premier, said Trump's cancellation could work out for the best.

"The Arctic's security and environmental challenges are too important to be considered alongside hopeless discussions like the sale of Greenland," he said on Twitter. - REUTERS