Statsminister Mette Fredriksen fotografert av det danske Folketinget.(Foto: Folketinger)

COPENHAGEN — Danes voiced shock and disbelief on Wednesday at U.S. President Donald Trump’s cancellation of a visit to Denmark after his idea to buy Greenland was rebuffed, although Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said she believed relations would not be affected, reports Reuters correspondent Nikilaj Skydsgaard from Copenhagen.

Must be an April Joke

Trump’s proposal at first elicited incredulity and humor from politicians in Denmark, a NATO ally of the United States, with former premier Lars Lokke Rasmussen saying: “It must be an April Fool’s Day joke.”But the mood turned to bewilderment when Trump called off the Sept. 2-3 visit after Frederiksen called his idea of the United States purchasing Greenland, an autonomous Danish territory, reports Reuters

Frederiksen, a center-left Social Democrat, said she learned of Trump’s decision “with regret and surprise,” given Denmark’s strong relations with Washington, but repeated her opposition to any Greenland transaction.

She stressed that Greenland’s premier Kim Kielsen had ruled out selling off the territory and “I obviously agree with him.”Trump’s decision elicited condemnation, outrage and mockery alike among Danish opposition leaders and the public.

“Trump has canceled his visit to Denmark because there was no interest in discussing selling Greenland. Is this some sort of joke? Deeply insulting to the people of Greenland and Denmark,” tweeted former premier Helle Thorning Schmidt.

“Total chaos with @realDonaldTrump and cancellation of state visit to Denmark. It has gone from a big opportunity for strengthened dialogue between allies to a diplomatic crisis,” said ex-foreign minister Kristian Jensen of the Liberal Party.

Nordics not for sale

Greenland, which is gaining attention from world powers including China, Russia and the United States due to its strategic location and mineral wealth, is self-governing but underdeveloped and relies on Denmark for economic support writes Reuters.

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