Donald Trump’s intention to postpone his official visit to Denmark, originally slated for September, took the royal palace by surprise, Lene Balleby, Head of the Communications Department in the King’s House told The Associated Press on Wednesday, 21 August.
Lene Balleby said that Trump’s decision came as “a surprise” to the royal family, but did not comment further on Trump’s reasoning behind changing his plans to visit Denmark. The US president was formally invited to visit the country on 2 and 3 September as a part of his European trip.
Although there was no reaction from the Danish government on the subject of Trump’s change of plans, former prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt wrote on Twitter that it was “deeply insulting to the people of Greenland and Denmark”.
So the POTUS has cancelled his visit to Denmark because there was no interest in discussing selling Greenland @BBCRadio4 Is this some sort of joke? Deeply insulting to the people of Greenland and Denmark.— Helle Thorning S (@HelleThorning_S) August 21, 2019
At the same time, the chairman of Denmark’s main police union, Claus Oxfeldt commented that the third visit of the current US president had been planned for a long time and it was a “great frustration” to cancel the visit now.
Donald Trump announced his intention to postpone the official visit on his Twitter account on Wednesday, arguing that his decision was motivated by Danish Prime Minister Metter Frederiksen’s disinterest in “discussing the purchase of Greenland”.
Denmark is a very special country with incredible people, but 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....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 20, 2019
....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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 20, 2019
Trump had indicated his interest in buying Greenland for strategic purposes, but the Danish PM called Trump’s speculation about buying the entire island an "absurd discussion".
On Thursday 15 August, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that Trump has been asking his senior advisors about Greenland’s geopolitical importance and the possible purchase of the island; these ambitions were, however, rebuked by the Greenland Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Greenland is an autonomous region within the Kingdom of Denmark which, despite being larger than Mexico, is home to fewer than 60,000 people. It achieved home rule in 1979.