Updated: August 16, 2019 7:10:10 pm
A private talk of buying Greenland by US President Donald Trump has not gone down well with Danish politicians as they scorned at the idea and said “It has to be an April Fool’s joke”, reported Reuters.
According to reports, the US president had privately discussed it with his advisers in the White House.
Meanwhile, the world’s biggest island on Friday dismissed the notion, asserting that it might be open for business but not for sale. “We are open for business, but we’re not for sale,” Greenland’s foreign minister Ane Lone Bagger was quoted as saying by the news agency.
Greenland is an autonomous Danish territory between the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. Much of its land surface is covered in ice.
Trump is due to visit Copenhagen in September and the Arctic will be on the agenda during meetings with the prime ministers of Denmark and Greenland.
Talk of a Greenland purchase was first reported by the Wall Street Journal. According to a Reuters report, the notion had been laughed off by some advisers familiar to the situation as a joke, but was taken more seriously by others in the White House. Danish politicians on Friday scorned at the idea.
“It has to be an April Fool’s joke. Totally out of season,” former prime minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said on Twitter.
“If he is truly contemplating this, then this is final proof, that he has gone mad,” foreign affairs spokesman for the Danish People’s Party, Soren Espersen, told broadcaster DR.
“The thought of Denmark selling 50,000 citizens to the United States is completely ridiculous,” he said. The island nation handles its own domestic affairs while Copenhagen looks after defence and foreign policy.
“I am sure a majority in Greenland believes it is better to have a relation to Denmark than the United States, in the long term,” Aaja Chemnitz Larsen, Danish MP from Greenland’s second-largest party Inuit Ataqatigiit (IA), told Reuters.
“My immediate thought is ‘No, thank you’,” she said.
Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod were not available for comment but officials said they would respond later on Friday. However, the US Embassy in Copenhagen was also not immediately available for comment.
“Oh dear lord. As someone who loves Greenland, has been there nine times to every corner and loves the people, this is a complete and total catastrophe,” former US ambassador to Denmark, Rufus Gifford, said in on Twitter.
Greenland is gaining attention from global superpowers including China, Russia and the United States due to its strategic location and its mineral resources.
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