Danish leaders expressed shock and disbelief on Wednesday over President Donald Trump’s cancellation of a state visit to Denmark after its prime minister rebuffed his interest in purchasing Greenland, Reuters informs.
Trump’s proposal at first elicited incredulity and humor from politicians in Denmark, a NATO ally of the United States, with former premier Lars Lokke Rasmussen saying: “It must be an April Fool’s Day joke.”
But the mood turned to shock when Trump called off the Sept. 2-3 visit after Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen called his idea of the United States buying Greenland, an autonomous Danish territory, “absurd”.
“Total chaos with @realDonaldTrump and cancellation of state visit to Denmark. It has gone from a big opportunity for strengthened dialogue between allies to a diplomatic crisis,” former foreign minister Kristian Jensen, a member of the opposition Liberal Party, said on Twitter.
“Everyone should know Greenland is not for sale,” Jensen said of the world’s largest island, which has considerable mineral wealth and a U.S. military presence at the Thule Air Base under a U.S.-Danish treaty dating to 1951, Reuters adds.
Frederiksen, who had been due to hold talks with Trump in Copenhagen, planned a news conference later on Wednesday. She said earlier this week Greenland was “not for sale” and she hoped Trump’s proposal was “not meant seriously.”