Donald Trump's attempt to buy Greenland and the refusal of the Government of Denmark to even discuss the matter -and the tons of messages loaded with sarcasm launched in recent days from Copenhagen- have had an immediate effect on relations between the two countries.
The president of the United States announced today that he "postpones" without a specific date the visit he planned to make in two weeks to Denmark. Trump made this announcement via Twitter, his favourite communication channel to make his opinions known to the world. Denmark and US are commercial partners and allies in NATO.
Like a business meeting
In a tone that reminds more of a business meeting than of a meeting between heads of state and government, Trump wrote that "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..."
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....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 20, 2019
Trump, who raised his empire doing business in real estate, seems to be grateful to the Danish Prime Minister for her sincerity, that has prevented him from having to travel to Copenhagen for nothing in September:
"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 president wrote.
....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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 20, 2019
"Partner, ally friend"
Just three hours earlier, the Ambassador of the United States Embassy in Copenhagen had posted a tweet to welcome the American president to Copenhagen. The message described Trump as a "partner, ally, friend" for the Danes.
The news that Trump had been interested in acquiring Greenland for the US was published exclusively last week by The Wall Street Journal and received by the world as a joke. And the Danes responded with a sense of humor that, apparently, was not well received by Washington, who, judging by the consequences, was serious.
"Not for sale"
The first reaction on the Danes was to ask if that was all a joke, but when Trump confirmed that he was serious and claimed that Denmark had to pay a fortune that could not afford to maintain the island, his statements caused anger in Greenland. The Danish Prime Minister then responded and declared she "strongly agrees" with the authorities of the island that "Greenland is not for sale".
I promise not to do this to Greenland! pic.twitter.com/03DdyVU6HA— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 20, 2019
The White House is interested in purchasing the biggest island of the world for its geostrategic position now when the ice in the Arctic melts faster during the summer, opening new commercial maritime routes, and for its immense natural resources.
Greenland is a self-ruling part of the Kingdom of Denmark with a population of around 56,000. Its autonomous government decides on most domestic matters, but foreign and security policy is handled by Copenhagen. The US Armed Forces already have an important air base in Thule (northwest of the island), with around 600 employees. It is an important base for the country's radar system.
Another US president, Harry Truman, tried to buy Greenland for the US in 1946. He offered 100 million dollars to the Danish Government, who rejected the offer.