Trump cancels Denmark visit due to Greenland controversy - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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The Guardian wrote:Danish PM ‘surprised and disappointed’ over cancelled Trump visit

US president attacks comments as ‘nasty’ after calling off trip because Greenland not for sale


Shaun Walker

Wed 21 Aug 2019 17.17 BST First published on Wed 21 Aug 2019 10.44 BST


Did Trump cancel his Denmark visit because Greenland is not for sale?

The Danish prime minister has said she is surprised and disappointed that Donald Trump has called off his planned visit to the country over Copenhagen’s refusal to sell Greenland to the US.

At a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, Mette Frederiksen reaffirmed that Greenland was not for sale. “A discussion about a potential sale of Greenland has been put forward. It has been rejected by Greenland premier Kim Kielsen, and I fully stand behind that rejection,” she said.

She had previously said Trump’s Greenland proposal was absurd.

Trump told reporters at the White House later: “I thought the prime minister’s statement that it was an absurd idea was nasty.

“It was not a nice way of doing it. She could have just said, ‘No, we’d rather not do it.’ She’s not talking to me, she’s talking to the United States of America. They can’t say: ‘How absurd.’”

Earlier, in damage limitation mode, Frederiksen insisted that the US president’s decision would not affect strategic, military or commercial cooperation between their two countries. “The cancellation of the visit doesn’t change the good relationship between Denmark and the United States,” she said.

Politicians from across the spectrum were united in their condemnation. “There are already many good reasons to think that the man is a fool, and now he has given another good reason,” Eva Flyvholm, the foreign policy chair for Denmark’s Red-Green Alliance, told Danish media.

The former prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt tweeted:


Villy Søvndal, a former foreign minister, said the decision “confirms that Donald Trump is a narcissistic fool”.

The US president had been due to visit Denmark in early September but announced on Twitter late on Tuesday night that there was no longer any point in the visit. “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,” Trump wrote. The White House later confirmed that the visit had been called off.

Søvndal told the Danish newspaper Berlingske that Trump’s decision showed he was unaware of the basic rules of diplomacy. “If he had been a clown in a circus, you could probably say that there is considerable entertainment value. The problem is that he is the president of the most powerful nation in the world,” he said.

The awkwardness was compounded by the fact that the US ambassador to Denmark had tweeted her excitement about the upcoming visit a few hours before Trump made his announcement. “Denmark is ready for the POTUS @realDonaldTrump visit! Partner, ally, friend,” she wrote.

On Wednesday, she tried to repair the damage in a new tweet claiming Trump “values and respects” Denmark and plans a visit in the future.

“@POTUS values & respects and looks forward to a visit in the future to discuss the many important issues in our strong bilateral relationship!” she wrote. “Great friends & Allies like and should be able to discuss all issues openly & candidly.” Twitter users responded with some scepticism towards her message.

A spokeswoman for the Danish royal household, which had formally invited Trump, said Queen Margrethe II was surprised by the cancellation.

Greenland, a vast island bordering the Arctic Ocean that is 85% covered in ice, was a Danish colony until 1953. It gained autonomous territory status in 1979, but the island’s economy depends heavily on Danish subsidies. It has 55,000 inhabitants, many of whom favour full independence from Denmark.

Many in Denmark had initially assumed the story of Trump’s desire to buy the large, sparsely populated island was either meant in jest or as a distraction tactic. Trump even tweeted a photograph of a small Greenland village with a large Trump tower Photoshopped in, but he appears to have been serious about the proposal, or at least offended by the firm rebuff it received.


Danish PM reacts to cancelled Trump visit: 'preparations were in full swing'

The defence and security correspondent with Denmark’s Berlingske newspaper, Kristian Mouritzen, said the first reactions were of shock and amazement that the question of buying Greenland had been seriously raised. “In my long life I can never recall a friendly nation making a meeting dependent on a willingness to sell part of your territory. It’s like trying to buy Scotland. It’s out of the question.”

He said Trump’s move had led to a rare moment of unity among all major Danish political forces, but added that once the dust has settled, the government would look to salvage whatever was possible. “We have a lot of issues with the US: climate change, the Iran deal and now also Greenland, so I think now the government will look to play it safe and try to build some bridges via diplomatic channels.”

On Wednesday, Trump took another swipe at Denmark, this time over its defence spending. He tweeted: “For the record, Denmark is only at 1.35% of GDP for NATO spending. They are a wealthy country and should be at 2%. We protect Europe and yet, only 8 of the 28 NATO countries are at the 2% mark.”

Government officials in Greenland made it clear the island was not for sale but welcomed increased US interest. “The ridiculous idea of ​​building a Trump tower in a village in Greenland makes us laugh. At the same time, his interest in Greenland has sparked a new debate about Greenlandic independence from Denmark,” said Poul Krarup, the editor-in-chief of Sermitsiaq, one of Greenland’s two newspapers.

The US has an airbase and a radar station in Greenland, and Krarup said there was willingness to discuss further military cooperation with the US, including more airbases or submarine monitoring stations. He said it was baffling that China had so far shown more interest than the US in partnerships with Greenland.

“It is only now under Trump that the US understands Greenland’s importance to US security policy. If Trump is prepared to spend money on development in Greenland, he is most welcome. It will help Greenland achieve more economic independence from Denmark,” said Krarup. “But we are not for sale.”

What more could late night show hosts ask for?
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Everybody thought that he was joking when he proposed to buy Greenland. The fact that he risks a diplomatic row with a Nato ally over this shows that there is nothing to shelter the world from the puerile imagination of this man-child.

This will be a salutary wake-up call to the Danes who are always the first when it comes to following their American masters. It'll boost support for a united Europe and an EU army even in eurosceptic Denmark.

The disdain Trump shows for small countries like Denmark or Sweden (where he tried to interfere in the judiciary) is in line with the despicable character of the man.
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If Trump cannot buy Greenland, China will end up occupying and militarizing Greenland in the near future. The island has drawn rising interest due to its vast natural resources, including coal, zinc, copper, iron ore and rare minerals. In 2017, Greenland’s prime minister flew to China and said, “Chinese state-run banks to finance the new commercial airports, including a big one for one of the smallest capitals on earth, Nuuk, which can now be served only by propeller planes. The bankers were interested, people at the meetings said, so long as a Chinese company constructed the airports.”
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ThirdTerm wrote:If Trump cannot buy Greenland, China will end up occupying and militarizing Greenland in the near future.

The US doesn't need to buy Greenland to be obliged to protect it against Chinese occupation and militarisation as long as they take their NATO obligations seriously.

Wikipedia wrote:Unlike Denmark, Greenland is no longer part of the European Union, the country changed its status to an OCT, a dependent territory that have a special relationship with a member state of the EU. However, Greenland remains a full member of the Council of Europe and NATO.
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Atlantis wrote:It'll boost support for a united Europe and an EU army even in eurosceptic Denmark.

I rather doubt that Europeans who aren't German and don't like Trump dislike Trump so much that they would prefer having Germany as a suzerain. Germany essentially forcing nations to accept the Nice Treaty hasn't gone well, and the skepticism in places like Ireland, the Netherlands, France, etc. were clearly warranted. With Britain leaving the EU, I think the handwriting is on the wall for the EU in its present form. The economy in Europe has been positively lackluster for quite awhile.

ThirdTerm wrote:If Trump cannot buy Greenland, China will end up occupying and militarizing Greenland in the near future.

That might be overstating it, but Russia's increased militancy in the Artic and China's belt-and-road initiative are concerning in Washington. Greenland is one of few North American territories still controlled by Europe. St Pierre & Miquelon are part of France proper as overseas departments and use the Euro. It's kind of odd when the EU thinks Spain should control Gibraltar due to its proximity to Spain that we should still be a-okay with Europeans controlling Carribean islands, Greenland, St. Pierre and Miquelon, etc. Although, I wouldn't do it to BoJo, it would have been funny for Trump to offer to buy Barbados, the BVI, or the Falklands during Teresa May's disastrous tenure.

ThirdTerm wrote:The island has drawn rising interest due to its vast natural resources, including coal, zinc, copper, iron ore and rare minerals.

Sure, but it wouldn't be much easier to develop than Antarctica due to ice. Right now, it's geopolitical interest is Thule Air Base, which gets up to a blistering 45-degrees Fahrenheit in July.
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Trump told reporters at the White House later: “I thought the prime minister’s statement that it was an absurd idea was nasty.

“It was not a nice way of doing it. She could have just said, ‘No, we’d rather not do it.’ She’s not talking to me, she’s talking to the United States of America. They can’t say: ‘How absurd


He does have a point. It is hardly "absurd". Has everyone forgotten the US bagged Alaska through a purchase from the Tsar? Calling it "absurd" is pretty much a diplomatic insult.
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SolarCross wrote:He does have a point. It is hardly "absurd". Has everyone forgotten the US bagged Alaska through a purchase from the Tsar? Calling it "absurd" is pretty much a diplomatic insult.

Apparently Trump can just insult and bully whoever the fuck he wants, whenever he wants, and it's just fine. But the second anyone pushes back in even mild fashion (Trump deciding on a whim he wants to buy Greenland, an island I doubt he could have placed on a map three weeks ago, is indeed "absurd"), then we have to pretend that diplomatic protocol has been breached. Frankly, the only people Trump ever seems to show any respect to are people who tell him to fuck off in no uncertain terms. We (especially Britain) should all do it more often, rather than pretending that abasing ourselves before a guy who calls himself "the second coming of God" is the behaviour of a self respecting country. :roll:
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SolarCross wrote:TDS strikes again.

Is this your default answer if you can't find anything better?

Trump actually meant to tell Denmark to increase their defence spending to 2% of their GDP (which Trump says is at 1.35%), however, he did it in an insulting way as usual. Greenland becomes more and more important, so Denmark is really expected to pay up. Anytime Trump visits Europe he brings up the issue, but he's never offered to buy up some land the US has to protect so far.
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ness31 wrote:Ah. So the Chinese are already there then. But where aren’t they lol?

It’s such an honest naivety from Trump. “We’d like to buy Greenland, tah very much. ..” as opposed to, “We will invest in Greenland and hollow you out from the inside”..


Either way, this may not end well for Greenland when you know that China and USA want something from you.
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Heisenberg wrote:We (especially Britain) should all do it more often, rather than pretending that abasing ourselves before a guy who calls himself "the second coming of God" is the behaviour of a self respecting country. :roll:


Sorry, you guys have already been sold to the big deal maker. That's what Brexit was all about from the very beginning. Trump has taken back control.
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The Guardian wrote:Trump told reporters at the White House later: “I thought the prime minister’s statement that it was an absurd idea was nasty.

“It was not a nice way of doing it. She could have just said, ‘No, we’d rather not do it.’ She’s not talking to me, she’s talking to the United States of America. They can’t say: ‘How absurd.’”

Oh the irony. :lol:
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