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People in Denmark are angry and sad that Trump canceled his visit



People in Denmark are stunned by President Donald Trump’s sudden announcement to postpone a planned state visit to the country, after their prime minister said he couldn’t buy Greenland, the autonomous Danish territory in the Arctic.

Trump, who was scheduled to visit Denmark in early September, broke the news on Twitter on Tuesday night, suggesting in his tweet that the cancellation was directly due to Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen slighting his idea for the US to purchase Greenland.

Read more: Look forward to rescheduling’: Trump scraps trip to Denmark after its prime minister rejected his idea of buying Greenland

Frederiksen acted measured at a Wednesday news conference, telling reporters she received the news about the visit “with regret and surprise,” but emphasizing that Trump’s split decision would not “change the character of our good relations.”

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and Kim Kielsen, Premier of Greenland, attend a press conference in Nuuk

But across the country, the mood was different: a headline in Berlingske, a conservative daily, read “the US and Denmark’s relationship has never been this ice-cold. It will have wide-ranging consequences,” The New York Times reported.

Politicians openly expressed their frustrations with the president.

“Is this some sort of joke?” former prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt asked on Twitter. “Deeply insulting to the people of Greenland and Denmark.”

“The reality is stranger than fiction,” added Morten Østergaard, leader of the center-left party Radikale Venstre, which is part of a ruling coalition with the Socialdemokratiet party. “It shows why, more than ever, we should regard E.U. countries as our closest allies. The man is unreliable.”

From ‘strengthened dialogue between allies to a diplomatic crisis’

General view of Upernavik in western Greenland, Denmark July 11, 2015.
Ritzau Scanpix/Linda Kastrup via REUTERS

The saga over Greenland first erupted last week, following a Wall Street Journal report that Trump had repeatedly expressed interest in buying the territory.

Frederiksen was quick to respond, making clear that “Greenland is not for sale,” and adding, “I strongly hope that this is not meant seriously.”

She also described Trump’s idea as a joke and noted that “thankfully, the time where you buy and sell other countries and populations is over. Let’s leave it there.”

Apparently, Trump wasn’t too happy with Frederiksen’s response, even though she also made sure to emphasize the importance of a strong relationship between the two countries.

The cancellation can be seen as a rebuff to Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II, who was scheduled to meet with and host the president and first lady. The Royal House’s communications director expressed surprise by the decision.

“Total chaos,” wrote Kristian Jensen, a member of parliament, on Twitter. “This has gone from a great opportunity for a strengthened dialogue between allies to a diplomatic crisis.”

“As a Dane (and a conservative) it is very hard to believe,” concluded Rasmus Jarlov, a former business minister. “For no reason Trump assumes that (an autonomous) part of our country is for sale. Then insultingly cancels visit that everybody was preparing for. Please show more respect.”

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