Cancelling state visit, Trump earns more scorn for Greenland purchase plan
Danish, Greenlandic politicians call Trump’s actions “disrespectful,” “absurd,” “insulting”
People in Denmark and Greenland woke up this morning to a big political surprise.
Only days after the news surfaced that United States President Donald Trump was keen on buying Greenland, Trump then decided last night to cancel a planned September visit to Denmark, because he said the Danish prime minister had no interest in discussing such a sale.
“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!” Trump said on Twitter, where he also had promised in a tweet not to build a Trump tower on the island.
Many weighed in on the why of the initial leak that the United States would buy Greenland, as well as the resulting hoopla and eventual cancellation of the visit.
Mikaa Mered, a professor at the Institut Libre d’Etude des Relations Internationales in Paris and a keen follower of Arctic politics, suggested Trump’s moves could be seen as detrimental to the relationship among the United States, Greenland and Denmark.
But, as a communications coup, it was successful in reaching its Russian and Chinese targets, Mered suggested.
“With this move, he repositioned the U.S. on the same rhetorical level as Russia and China: ‘we too are a great nation that can reshape the Arctic,'” he said.
Canada should also watch out, Mered told Nunatsiaq News.
“The Trump administration has already expressed its interest in testing Canada’s limits vis-à-vis the Northwest Passage,” he said.
The international discussion about Trump and Greenland comes as the Canadian Armed Forces are conducting a sovereignty exercise based in Cambridge Bay—a gateway to the Northwest Passage, which Canada, unlike the United States, considers to be an internal Canadian waterway.
Today also marks the official opening of the Canadian High Arctic Research Station in Cambridge Bay.
The reaction from Denmark and Greenland about Trump’s cancelled state visit was swift.
Speaking to journalists in Copenhagen, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said that she supported Greenland in its government’s stance that Greenland is not for sale.
Other Danish and Greenlandic politicians, quoted widely by media, called the cancellation of the visit “disrespectful,” “absurd” and “insulting” to Queen Margrethe who had invited Trump.