Another Diplomatic Dispute Diffused By Biden Administration
The Biden administration can claim full credit for diffusing a long-simmering diplomatic dispute that threatened multi-national relations. On Thursday, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken confirmed that the United States is not, in fact, interested in purchasing the self-governing Danish territory of Greenland.
Blinken made the stunning announcement in response to a reporter who asked him to “definitively say that the United States does not seek to buy Greenland” as he met with Danish officials and the premier of Greenland, Mute Egede. “I can confirm that’s correct,” Blinken said. He made his remarks while in the territory for meetings with Egede to discuss “bilateral trade and investment.”
The secretary’s declaration officially put an end to the supremely bizarre suggestion by then-President Donald Trump in August 2019 that the U.S. might be interested in purchasing Greenland in what he referred to as “a large real estate deal.” At the time The Wall Street Journal reported that Trump repeatedly had instructed aides to investigate the possibility, in part to exploit the territory’s massive natural resources.
The suggestion immediately became the butt of online derision and was rejected by residents of the Danish territory and by Danish leadership. “Greenland is not for sale,” Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said at the time. “Greenland is not Danish. Greenland belongs to Greenland. I strongly hope that this is not meant seriously.”
Trump took umbrage at Frederiksen’s response, calling her “nasty” and canceling a diplomatic visit to Greenland.
Pele Broberg, Greenland’s foreign minister, alluded to the diplomatic rupture during his appearance with Mr. Blinken on Thursday.
“We will underscore this is not considered a real estate deal,” Mr. Broberg said of talks with U.S. officials, quoting Trump. “Secretary Blinken has made it very clear that he is here for the people living in the Arctic, for the people living in Greenland.”