President Donald Trump on Wednesday cancelled his planned state visit to Denmark amidst row over the purchase of Greenland.
“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,” Mr Trump tweeted.
“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!”
The Wall Street Journal first reported last week that Mr Trump expressed his interest in purchasing Greenland. He added later that he believed the Danish government would be interested in selling the massive Arctic island because it costs more than $700 million a year to maintain.
Mr Trump said that even though he was open to negotiating a purchase, the transaction was not high on his list of geopolitical priorities.
“It is not number one on the burner, I can tell you that,” he told reporters.
Ms Frederiksen dismissed the idea of buying the autonomous Danish territory as “absurd.” The Danes and Greenlanders widely mocked the move, apparently assuming that Mr Trump was not serious about it.
Mr Trump also made a light joke of the matter at his own expense, tweeting a picture of a golden Trump Tower looming above the territory on Tuesday morning: “I promise not to do this to Greenland!”
Although the idea has been largely seen today as half-serious or downright ridiculous, the United States has previously offered to purchase Greenland because it would be a strategic military spot.
In 1946, American government offered to buy the island for $100 million in form of cash, asset and gold bars, an offer that was rejected by Denmark at the time.