Thursday 19 September 2019

Trump's idea to buy Greenland 'absurd' - Danish PM

Danish prime minister Mette Frederiksen is greeted by Greenland's premier Kim Kielsen as she arrives in Nuuk, Greenland. Photo: Ritzau Scanpix/via REUTERS
Danish prime minister Mette Frederiksen is greeted by Greenland's premier Kim Kielsen as she arrives in Nuuk, Greenland. Photo: Ritzau Scanpix/via REUTERS

Jan Molsen

Greenland is not for sale and US President Donald Trump's idea of buying the semi-autonomous Danish territory from Denmark is "an absurd discussion," Denmark's prime minister has said.

Mette Frederiksen, who was visiting the world's largest island to meet Greeland Premier Kim Kielsen, said: "Greenland is not Danish. Greenland is Greenlandic.

"I persistently hope that this is not something that is seriously meant."

Ms Frederiksen said the Arctic, with resources which Russia and others could exploit for commercial gain, "is becoming increasingly important to the entire world community".

Retreating ice could uncover potential oil and mineral resources in Greenland which, if successfully tapped, could dramatically change the island's fortunes.

Darkness

However, no oil has yet been found in Greenlandic waters, and 80pc of the island is covered by an ice sheet that is up to 3km thick, which means exploration is only possible in coastal regions.

Even there, conditions are far from ideal due to the long winter with frozen ports, 24-hour darkness and temperatures regularly dropping below -30C in the northern parts.

Mr Trump is expected to visit Denmark on September 2 and 3 as part of a trip to Europe.

The US president said that he is interested in the idea, but that it is not a high priority of his administration.

"It's not No 1 on the burner, I can tell you that," he said.

Irish Independent

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