- Title: Greenland tells Trump it is open for business but not for sale
- Date: 16th August 2019
- Summary: BEIJING, CHINA (NOVEMBER 8, 2017) (REUTERS) DONALD AND MELANIA TRUMP STEPPING DOWN OFF AIR FORCE ONE
- Embargoed: 30th August 2019 12:12
- Keywords: Greenland Trump buying April fool
- Location: ILULISSAT, TASIILAG, NUUK, DISKO BAY, GREENLAND/BEIJING, CHINA/ MANCHESTER, UNITED STATES
- City: ILULISSAT, TASIILAG, NUUK, DISKO BAY, GREENLAND/BEIJING, CHINA/ MANCHESTER, UNITED STATES
- Country: Greenland
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA003ASGWY13
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Greenland on Friday (August 16) dismissed the notion that it might be up for sale after reports that U.S. President Donald Trump had privately discussed with his advisers the idea of buying the world's biggest island.
"We are open for business, but we're not for sale," Greenland's foreign minister Ane Lone Bagger told Reuters.
Trump is due to visit Copenhagen in September and the Arctic will be on the agenda during meetings with the prime ministers of Denmark and Greenland, an autonomous Danish territory.
Talk of a Greenland purchase was first reported by the Wall Street Journal. Two sources familiar with the situation told Reuters that the notion had been laughed off by some advisers as a joke but was taken more seriously by others in the White House.
Danish politicians on Friday poured scorn on the idea.
"It has to be an April Fool's joke. Totally out of season," former prime minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said on Twitter.
Greenland, a self-ruling part of Denmark located between the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans, is dependant on Danish economic support. It handles its own domestic affairs while Copenhagen looks after defence and foreign policy.
Greenland is gaining attention from global super powers including China, Russia and the United States due to its strategic location and its mineral resources.
In May, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Russia was behaving aggressively in the Arctic and China's actions there had to be watched closely as well.
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.
There has been no indication that a Greenland purchase will be on the agenda for Trump's talks with Danish officials.
In 1917 Denmark sold off the then Danish West Indies islands for $25 million to the United States, which renamed them the United States Virgin Islands.
(Production: Hywel Davies)
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