Danish Defence Minister Trine Bramsen and Greenland’s Minister of Education, Culture, Church and Foreign Affairs Ane Lone Bagger have agreed to boost bilateral military cooperation, according to the Danish Defence Ministry.
“We need to establish a closer and regular dialogue with Greenland and the Faroe Islands on defence policy-related issues,” Bramsen said, referring to the importance of the Danish military presence in the Arctic region.
She added that as far as security policy issues are concerned, Denmark would help to train personnel from Greenland and the Faroe Islands under the Defence Academy programmes, and that Greenland firefighters will be offered additional emergency training courses.
Ane Lone Bagger also emphasised Greenland’s readiness to expand cooperation with Denmark in this field.
“The Government of Greenland is highly satisfied with the results of the joint exercises that were [recently] held in Greenland. We would like to see more such drills in order to be better prepared to grapple with accidents and disasters,” said Bagger.
Trump-Frederiksen Diplomatic Tit-for-Tat Over Greenland
The two leaders’ statements come against the background of a showdown between Donald Trump and Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen over the US President’s “strategic interest” in buying Greenland.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Frederiksen reiterated that the island was not for sale.
“A discussion about a potential sale of Greenland has been put forward. It has been rejected by Greenland Premier Kim Kielsen, and I fully stand behind that rejection,” she said, adding that she was “disappointed and surprised” by Trump’s decision.
Earlier, Frederiksen called the US President’s push to buy Greenland an “absurd discussion,” expressing “strong hope” that “this is not meant seriously”.
Trump, in turn, described the Danish Prime Minister’s statement as “nasty" adding that “it was not a nice way of doing it.”
“She could have just said, ‘No, we’d rather not do it.’ She’s not talking to me, she’s talking to the United States of America. They can’t say: ‘How absurd’”, Trump added.
The remarks followed Trump’s move to postpone his meeting with Frederiksen in Denmark, due to be held in two weeks, which he said was prompted by Frederiksen’s reluctance to discuss the purchase of Greenland with the US President.
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
Late last week, the Wall Street Journal quoted several unnamed sources as saying that Trump had recently been asking his advisers if Washington could purchase Greenland. The sources claimed that Trump was very interested when he learned about Greenland's natural resources and its geopolitical status.
An autonomous region within the Kingdom of Denmark, Greenland is home to just 60,000 people even though it is bigger than Mexico in terms of territory. Denmark has been in charge of issues pertaining to Greenland’s foreign affairs, military and constitution as of since 1979, with Greenland only dealing with internal affairs on an independent basis.