Trump to re-open US consulate in Greenland after being told it's not for sale

State Department aims to re-establish diplomatic mission for first time since 1953

Phil Thomas
New York
Sunday 25 August 2019 01:32
Comments
Trump complains Danish prime minister was 'not nice' and 'nasty' over Greenland sale

The US says it will reopen its consulate in Greenland for the first time in decades - just days after Denmark’s refusal to sell the region sparked a presidential tantrum.

Donald Trump angrily pulled out of a state visit to Denmark and dubbed prime minister Mette Frederiksen “nasty” for telling him that his wish to buy Greenland was “absurd”.

But the State Department now says it wants to re-establish a consulate in Nuuk, the capital of the semi-autonomous region.

The US opened a consulate in Greenland in 1940 in response to the Nazi occupation of Denmark but it was closed in 1953.

In a letter sent to Congress, and seen by the Associated Press, the State Department says that the US has a “strategic interest in enhancing political, economic and commercial relationships across the Arctic region”.

It said a permanent US presence would allow it to “protect essential equities in Greenland while developing deeper relationships with Greenlandic officials and society”, and said the consulate would be “a critical component of our efforts to increase US presence in the Arctic and would serve as an effective platform to advance US interests in Greenland”.

The new mission would open next year with a staff of seven.

Mr Trump reacted with fury after his suggestion of buying Greenland was shot down.

He stunned Denmark by saying he was pulling out of a planned state visit as a result, complaining that the prime minister’s response was not sufficiently respectful - a surprising claim given the president’s regular verbal broadsides against allies.

He told reporters: ”I thought the prime minister's statement ... was nasty. It was not a nice way of doing it. She could have just said 'no, we'd rather not do it' ... they can't say 'how absurd’."

Support free-thinking journalism and attend Independent events

Greenland would be a valuable strategic acquisition for the United States, particularly with regard to fears of Russian expansion into the Arctic region.

In 1991 it was revealed that Harry S Truman, US president between 1945 and 1953, had secretly offered to buy Greenland, although he too was rebuffed.

Additional reporting by the AP

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in