Tue, 17 Sep 2019

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump announced Tuesday that he is postponing a planned meeting with Denmark's prime minister due to her lack of interest in selling Greenland to the United States.

"Based on Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen's comments, that she would have no interest in discussing the purchase of Greenland, I will be postponing our meeting scheduled in two weeks for another time," Trump tweeted.

"The Prime Minister was able to save a great deal of expense and effort for both the United States and Denmark by being so direct. I thank her for that and look forward to rescheduling sometime in the future!" the U.S. president wrote.

The Wall Street Journal first reported that Trump had expressed interest in the self-governing part of Denmark - which is mostly covered in ice - asking advisers if it would be possible for the U.S. to acquire the territory.

Trump confirmed Sunday that he was indeed interested in buying Greenland, but said it was not a priority for his administration.

"It's something we talked about," he told reporters.

"The concept came up and I said certainly, strategically it's interesting and we'd be interested, but we'll talk to (Denmark) a little bit," he said, stressing that it was "not number one on the burner" for the government.

When asked if he would consider trading a U.S. territory for Greenland, Trump replied that "a lot of things could be done."

"Essentially, it's a large real estate deal," he said.

Denmark colonized the 2 million-square-kilometer (772,000-square-mile) island in the 18th century. It is home to only about 57,000 people, most of whom belong to the indigenous Inuit community.

Greenland's ministry of foreign affairs insisted Friday the island was ready to talk business, but was not for sale.

"#Greenland is rich in valuable resources such as minerals, the purest water and ice, fish stocks, seafood, renewable energy and is a new frontier for adventure tourism," it tweeted.

"We're open for business, not for sale," it added.

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