Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken confirmed Thursday that the United States was no longer interested in buying Greenland and suspended a 2019 proposal by the Trump administration to annex self-governing Danish territory.
“I can confirm that this is correct,” Blinken said during an appearance in Greenland with Danish officials and Greenland Prime Minister Mute Egede in response to a reporter who asked him to “definitely say that the United States is not trying to buy . ” Greenland. “Earlier in the day the Secretary of State toured the area and met privately with the Prime Minister to discuss “Bilateral Trade and Investment.”
Mr. Blinken’s brief remarks closed the book on a bizarre episode in US foreign policy. The Wall Street Journal had first reported in August 2019 that President Donald J. Trump had repeatedly asked aides to pursue a Greenland purchase, in part to take advantage of the territory’s abundant natural resources. Mr Trump’s advisors were very skeptical of the idea but agreed to investigate the matter.
News of Mr. Trump’s interest in the annexation of Greenland quickly became a joker on the internet, while it was coldly received by residents of both the semi-autonomous and semi-autonomous territories under the Danish leadershipwho poked fun at the then president’s proposal to buy the territory essentially as a “big real estate deal”.
“Greenland is not for sale,” Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen told a Danish newspaper at the time. “Greenland is not Danish. Greenland is part of Greenland. I very much hope this is not meant seriously. “
Mr Trump, angry at the Danish reaction to his idea, abruptly canceled a diplomatic visit to Denmark, describing Ms. Frederiksen as “angry”, which sparked an international incident.
“All they had to do was say,” No, we’d better not do that “or” We’d better not talk about it, “Trump told reporters on the day he canceled the trip. “What an absurd idea that is.”
Pele Broberg, Greenland’s foreign minister, alluded to the diplomatic break during his appearance at Mr Blinken on Thursday.
“We will underline that this is not a real estate business,” Broberg said of talks with US officials and quoted Trump. “Secretary Blinken made it very clear that he is there for the people in the Arctic and for the people in Greenland.”