Cancelling state visit, Trump earns more scorn for Greenland purchase plan

Danish, Greenlandic politicians call Trump’s actions “disrespectful,” “absurd,” “insulting”

The uproar around the cancelled state visit of United States President Donald Trump to Denmark makes the front page of Greenland’s newspaper Sermitsiaq. Here, the headline reads “Mette Frederiksen: The need for cooperation on security policy in the Arctic is only getting bigger.” The Danish prime minister made the comments in a news conference in Copenhagen where she was careful not to alienate the United States, but also defended Greenland’s right to self-determination. (Screenshot)

By Jane George

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.


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(6) Comments:

  1. Posted by Mainahuukuni on

    Nutara’juaqtitut qivichiangitunahuk. Hivuliqtiungikuniugaluaq. Ijuqnamiaqtuq.

  2. Posted by Jack Hicks on

    This article fails to mention the most likely reason for Trump’s sudden interest in Greenland: the proposed rare earth elements (REE) — with uranium as a byproduct — mine very close to the South Greenland community of Narsaq. “China dominates the global production of these rare earths, a group of 17 metals difficult to commercialise but critical to high-tech applications, including electric vehicles, wind turbines and military technology. More than 70 per cent are mined, and an even higher percentage processed, in China.” ( The proposed mine’s proponent, the Australian company Greenland Minerals, has Chinese producer Shenghe Resources as its largest shareholder. Greenland is centre-stage in this aspect of the mounting global power game between Chinese imperialism and US imperialism.

    • Posted by Macho-Politik on


      The fuss is about Trump’s political and diplomatic illiteracy, and especially his uncanny knack of insulting and alienating what should be his allies – quite an odd contrast to his warm and dotting subservience to dictators. Whatever the US needs from Greenland (resources, rare earths especially) it could have access to without owning the territory. That’s where diplomacy comes in. Unfortunately, in the mind of Trump that is nothing but a game of power, domination and even humiliation. He is a man with profound psychological wounds who has no place representing a state as powerful as the US. This is a dark era for them, and for all the west.

  3. Posted by Sell Thule on

    The US should be asked to leave Thule. Sell off their stuff and move a rational country in.

    • Posted by Hunter on

      If the americans leave , the chinese will move in.

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