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Trump Axes Denmark Trip After Greenland Idea Called 'Absurd'

He previously claimed state visit was unrelated
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 21, 2019 1:04 AM CDT
Updated Aug 21, 2019 6:44 AM CDT
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen attends a news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel after a meeting at the chancellery in Berlin, Thursday, July 11, 2019.   (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
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(Newser) – President Trump has called off a planned trip to Denmark because Prime Minster Mette Frederiksen has rejected the idea of selling him 98% of the kingdom's territory. After Trump confirmed that he had been considering a "large real estate deal" to make the semi-autonomous island part of the US, Frederiksen firmly dismissed the suggestion, saying Greenland is not for sale and she hoped he wasn't being serious. "Denmark is a very special country with incredible people, but 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 tweeted Tuesday night. "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."

Greenland's premier, Kim Kielsen, had also turned down the idea, saying the island is not for sale, but is "open for trade and co-operation with other countries, including the USA." Other Danes were less polite, including Danish People's Party foreign affairs spokesman Soren Espersen, who said that if Trump was serious, it was "final proof" he had gone mad, the BBC reports. The cancellation of the trip came as a surprise, especially since Trump, who had been invited for the Sept. 2 and 3 state visit by Queen Margrethe II, had insisted that the trip was unrelated to his Greenland plan, NBC reports. Carla Sands, Trump's ambassador to Denmark, was apparently among those taken by surprise, reports the New York Times. "Denmark is ready for the POTUS @realDonaldTrump visit! " she tweeted hours before it was called off. (Read more Denmark stories.)

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