The postponement of a trip to Denmark by the United States president Donald Trump, ostensibly because the European nation’s prime minister did not show interest in selling off Greenland to the United States has made many curious around the world.
Postponement of the visit was announced by Trump on Twitter saying: “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”.
“Denmark is a very special country with incredible people,” he added.
Trump’s visit to Denmark, scheduled for September 2-3, had been cancelled, said White House spokesman Judd Deere.
The idea of purchasing the island of Greenland, owned by Denmark but with its own self government, was recently floated by Trump.
The idea was rebuffed by the Greenland’s premier while it was termed as an “absurd” idea by Denmark.
“Greenland is not Danish. Greenland is Greenlandic,” Frederiksen, the Danish prime minister, told reporters on Sunday during a visit to the world’s largest island. “I persistently hope that this is not something that is seriously meant.”
Trump’s idea was rejected by Frederiksen while she told reporters that she supported Greenland’s Kim Kielsen.
“This does not change the character of our good relations and we will of course continue our ongoing dialogue with the US on how we can develop our cooperation and deal with the many common challenges we are facing,” Frederiksen said at a press conference.
Trump’s idea was ridiculed by the some of the other Danish politicians and called on Trump to show more respect. “Reality transcends imagination … this man is unpredictable,” said Morten Ostergaard of the Social Liberal Party, which is part of the ruling coalition.
“For no reason, Trump assumes that (an autonomous) part of our country is for sale. Then insultingly cancels visit that everybody was preparing for,” tweeted Rasmus Jarlov, a member of the opposition Conservative Party. “Are parts of the US for sale? Alaska? Please show more respect.”
A trip to Europe which would have included stops on in Denmark and Poland was scheduled for Trump at the end of August.
Greenland was earlier ridiculed by the US president when he posted a doctored image of the island with a Trump tower on social media.
The Arctic is a region which has resources that could be exploited by for commercial gains by Russia and others, said Frederiksen on Sunday and added that it “is becoming increasingly important to the entire world community”.
There could be instant and dramatic turn in the economic fortunes of Greenland if it was possible to successfully tap into the natural resources of oil and minerals that currently lie under ice but could emerge for exploitation because of retreating ice. But as of yet, oil has not been found anywhere in Greenlandic waters and a sheet of ice that can be as thick as three kilometers is covers about 80 percent of the island. This also means that exploration for oil is only possible on the coastal regions of the island.
(Adapted from Aljazeera.com)