Trump says it would be ‘strategically nice’ to buy Greenland
Donald Trump has confirmed he is interested in buying Greenland from Denmark, saying it would be “strategically . . . nice” for the US to own the self-governing territory.
However, Mette Frederiksen, Denmark’s new centre-left prime minister, on her first visit to the Arctic island on Sunday, said: “Greenland is not for sale. Greenland is not Danish. Greenland is Greenlandic. I really hope that it’s not something that is seriously meant.”
Kim Kielsen, Greenland’s prime minister, said on Friday: “We have a good co-operation with USA, and we see it as an expression of greater interest in investing in our country and the possibilities we offer. Of course, Greenland is not for sale.”
Jeppe Kofod, Denmark’s foreign minister, said the island could not be bought “in dollars, yuan or roubles”.
But Mr Trump told reporters on Sunday evening said he was “interested” in buying the land, adding: “We’re very good allies with Denmark. We protect Denmark like we protect large portions of the world.”
When asked whether he would exchange US territories for Greenland, Mr Trump likened the transaction to a “large real estate deal”.
“A lot of things can be done,” he said. “It’s hurting Denmark very badly because they’re losing almost $700m a year carrying it. So they carry it at a great loss. And, strategically, for the United States, it would be nice.”
Greenland, home to just 56,000 people, depends on the Danish government for foreign affairs and national security while being geographically part of North America. It is seen as strategically significant because of its location between the Arctic and Atlantic oceans, as well as its potential natural resources, including rare earth metals, oil and gas.
Mr Trump said on Sunday that he “may be going to Denmark” after a trip to Poland later this month but added that acquiring Greenland was not “number one on the burner”.
The White House previously announced that Mr Trump and his wife Melania would visit Poland to mark the 80th anniversary of the start of the second world war, before travelling to Denmark at the invitation of Margrethe II, queen of Denmark, for a state visit.
Additional reporting by Richard Milne in Oslo.