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Danish PM 'disappointed and surprised' over Trump cancellation, but wants close relationship to continue

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Danish PM 'disappointed and surprised' over Trump cancellation, but wants close relationship to continue
Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen speaks to press in Copenhagen on Wednesday afternoon. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix
15:42 CEST+02:00
Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen commented on Wednesday afternoon on US president Donald Trump’s decision to cancel a state visit to Denmark.

Trump had been due to visit Denmark on September 2nd-3rd at the invitation of the Queen, but announced on Twitter late on Tuesday night that the visit was off, citing Denmark’s unwillingness to countenance selling Greenland, an autonomous part of the Danish Kingdom.

“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 White House has since confirmed the visit had been called off.

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“I’d like to say that I am, of course, both disappointed and surprised that the American president has cancelled his state visit,” Frederiksen told press in Copenhagen on Wednesday afternoon.

“Like many others, I was looking forward to the visit,” the PM added.

“We were full speed ahead with preparations.”

Frederiksen stressed the ongoing importance of the relationship between the two countries, and also said she did not expect any effect on "trade or security-related questions".

“The United States is one of our closest and most important allies and we have many shared interests which we would have liked to discuss during the visit,” she said.

“Possibilities and challenges” related to the Arctic region would have been one of the areas to be discussed, the PM said.

“Our desire for a more strategic and stronger relationship with the USA with regard to the Arctic remains completely unaltered, and as such, our invitation for a stronger strategic partnership with the Americans is still open,” Frederiksen said in Danish.

She then read out an English version of the statement, with international attention high following Trump’s recent comments about buying Greenland from Denmark and subsequent scrapping of the state visit.

Prior to Trump’s cancellation via Twitter on Tuesday night, Frederiksen had been unequivocal in her response to the US president's unsolicited speculation about buying Greenland.

“Thankfully, the time where you buy and sell other countries and populations is over. Let’s leave it there,” she said during a trip to Greenland last weekend.

READ ALSO: Five things to know about Greenland

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