Donald Trump has cancelled a state visit to Denmark after the Danish prime minister called the idea of purchasing Greenland “an absurd idea”.
The US president was due to visit Denmark on 2nd September following an invitation from Queen Margrethe.
But following widespread scorn, White House spokesperson Judd Deere told reporters the visit to Denmark had been cancelled.
On Wednesday, Trump tweeted: “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 had confirmed reports, on Sunday, that he was interested in buying Greenland, saying it was “essentially a large real estate deal”.
Trump told reporters: “Denmark essentially owns it. We’re very good allies with Denmark, we protect Denmark like we protect large portions of the world. So the concept came up and I said, ‘Certainly I’d be.’ Strategically it’s interesting and we’d be interested but we’ll talk to them a little bit. It’s not No1 on the burner, I can tell you that.”
But the suggestion was met with ridicule and derision. Former Danish prime minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen described it as an “April Fool’s Day joke”.
Greenland plays host to a wealth of natural resources, such as coal, zinc, copper and iron alongside a host of rare metals.
Trump told the press that Greenland was of “strategic interest”. This comes at a time China has signalled its interest in the world’s largest island. Last year a state-owned Chinese construction company released plans to build airports in Greenland but withdrew them in June this year.
Denmark’s former finance minister Kristen Jensen said: “This has gone from a great opportunity for a strengthened dialogue between allies to a diplomatic crisis.”