Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen denied reports about selling Greenland to the United States, saying that it is not for sale and the idea of selling it is absurd.
Her remarks came after an economic adviser to President Donald Trump confirmed the US interest in buying the world’s largest island.
“Greenland is not for sale. It is not Danish. It belongs to Greenland. I strongly hope that this is not meant seriously,” Prime Minister Frederiksen told newspaper Sermitsiaq during a visit to Greenland.
Trump’s is due to visit Copenhagen early next month, as the autonomous Danish territory is expected to be on the agenda in meetings with Frederiksen and Prime Minister Kim Kielsen of Greenland.
On his part, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Sunday confirmed media reports that Trump had privately discussed with his advisers the idea of buying the island.
“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 purchase,” Kudlow told Fox News.
Kudlow said the situation was “developing” and noted that US President Harry Truman also had wanted to buy the island.
“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 defense 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, Reuters noted.
“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.
Earlier on Friday, Greenland’s foreign minister, Ane Lone Bagger, told Reuters: “We are open for business, but we’re not for sale.”
The Island, located between the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans, is dependent on Danish economic support. It handles its own domestic affairs while Copenhagen looks after defense and foreign policy.