(WASHINGTON) — The Greenland Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded to reports that President Donald Trump had talked about the possibility of buying the territory.
“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,” the ministry’s account tweeted Thursday morning. “We’re open for business, 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. We're open for business, not for sale❄️🗻🐳🦐🇬🇱 learn more about Greenland on: https://t.co/WulOi3beIC
— Greenland MFA 🇬🇱 (@GreenlandMFA) August 16, 2019
Greenland is a self-governing territory, responsible for its own policies and foreign affairs, that is technically a part of the Kingdom of Denmark. The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs declined to comment on the story when approached by ABC News.
The tweet was in response to media reports that Trump had expressed an interest in buying Greenland to Republican figures, with the story first appearing in the Wall Street Journal.
The veracity of the report was backed up by other news outlets, but the seriousness of the topic was questioned.
Danish media and politicians have mostly laughed off reports of Trump’s interest, with former Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen tweeting, “It must be an April Fool’s Day joke … but totally out of session!”
Trump is not the first U.S. president to express an interest in purchasing Greenland due to its strategic location and rich resources. In 1946, the government led by President Harry Truman offered to buy Greenland from the Kingdom of Denmark for $100 million, a bid that was promptly rejected.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was supposed to visit the U.S. military base there in May, but had to cancel to trip at the last-minute because of increasing tensions with Iran.
Greenland’s strategic importance has increased as China has looked to expand its activity in the Arctic in recent years. While China already has research stations in Iceland and Norway, the nation is looking to expand its footprint into Greenland with a satellite ground station, renovated airport and mining operations. Those ambitions have alarmed Denmark — as Greenland is a Danish territory — with the Danes publicly expressed concerns with China’s interest in the world’s largest island.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
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