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Danish PM says Trump's idea of selling Greenland to U.S. is absurd

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Danish PM says Trump's idea of selling Greenland to U.S. is absurd



FILE PHOTO: Denmark's Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen speaks during a news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, July 11, 2019. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke/File Photo


COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Greenland is not for sale and the idea of selling it to the United States is absurd, Denmark's prime minister said on Sunday after an economic adviser to President Donald Trump confirmed the U.S. interest in buying the world's largest island.


"Greenland is not for sale. Greenland is not Danish. Greenland belongs to Greenland. I strongly hope that this is not meant seriously," Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen told the newspaper Sermitsiaq during a visit to Greenland.


Trump confirmed to reporters on Sunday that he had recently discussed the possibility, though he said such a move was not an immediate priority.

"The concept came up and ...strategically it's interesting," Trump told reporters from the tarmac in Morristown, New Jersey, as he prepared to board Air Force One.


"It is not No.1 on the burner; I can tell you that."


President Donald Trump on Sunday said the concept came up about buying the world's largest island Greenland, but that it was 'not number one' on the list of priorities for his administration. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).


Trump is due to visit Copenhagen early next month, when the Arctic will be on the agenda in meetings with Frederiksen and Prime Minister Kim Kielsen of Greenland, an autonomous Danish territory.


White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Sunday initially confirmed media reports earlier in the week that Trumphad privately discussed with his advisers the idea of buying Greenland.


"I don't want to predict an outcome. I'm just saying the president, who knows a thing or two about buying real estate, wants to take a look at a Greenland purchase," Kudlow told Fox News.


Kudlow said the situation was "developing" and noted that U.S. President Harry Truman also had wanted to buy Greenland.


"And Denmark owns Greenland, Denmark is an ally, Greenland is a strategic place, up there. And they’ve got a lot of valuable minerals," Kudlow added.


A defence treaty between Denmark and the United States dating back to 1951 gives the U.S. military rights over the Thule Air Base in northern Greenland.


Greenland, located between the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans, is dependent on Danish economic support. It handles its own domestic affairs while Copenhagen looks after defence and foreign policy.


"It's an absurd discussion, and Kim Kielsen has of course made it clear that Greenland is not for sale. That's where the conversation ends," Frederiksen told the Danish broadcaster DR.


On Friday, Greenland's foreign minister, Ane Lone Bagger, had told Reuters: "We are open for business, but we're not for sale."


(Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen; additional reporting by Sarah N. Lynch in Washington, D.C.; Editing by Alexandra Hudson and Kevin Liffey)




-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-08-19
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1 hour ago, webfact said:

It is not No.1 on the burner; I can tell you that."

Neither is trump if he truly believes this is anything but a ridiculous idea. 

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It's not going to happen but it's not a bad idea for the US to acquire Greenland unless you think it was a bad idea in the long run for the US to acquire Alaska. I have no problem maintaining a deep opposition to 45 if occasionally he supports something that would be good.

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