Donald Trump has cancelled a planned trip to Denmark because its prime minister dismissed the idea of selling Greenland to the US.

The US president recently floated the idea of purchasing the mostly frozen island, which is owned by Denmark, but said on Sunday that such a transaction was not top priority.

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“It’s not number one on the burner,” he told reporters.

Denmark had scoffed at the suggestion and said Greenland was not for sale.

Mr Trump tweeted that “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”.

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Ms Frederiksen had called the US leader’s musing about buying the Danish territory “an absurd discussion” after he began talking up the idea.

Mr Trump even joked about his proposal as it came in for ridicule, tweeting a doctored photo of a glistening Trump skyscraper looming over a small village in the Arctic territory.

“I promise not to do this to Greenland”, he joked on Monday.

But on Tuesday, Mr Trump abruptly cancelled the visit, also on Twitter.

A few hours earlier, the US ambassador to Denmark tweeted that it was “ready for the POTUS @realDonaldTrump visit!”

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Mr Trump tweeted: “Denmark is a very special country with incredible people, but 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.”

He added: “The Prime Minister was able to save a great deal of expense and effort for both the United States and Denmark by being so direct. I thank her for that and look forward to rescheduling sometime in the future!”

White House spokesman Judd Deere later said that the visit to Denmark had been cancelled.

Donald Trump has confirmed reports he discussed buying Greenland from Denmark
Image:
Donald Trump recently floated the idea of purchasing Greenland

The White House announced in late July that Mr Trump had accepted an invitation to visit Denmark’s Queen Margrethe and participate in a series of meetings, including with Frederiksen and business leaders.

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The trip is set to begin at the end of August and includes a stop in Poland to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the start of World War II.

Mr Trump is expected to go ahead with the Warsaw visit.

Asked about his interest in buying Greenland on Sunday, Mr Trump said “strategically… it would be nice” to own the island.

His interest in the Danish territory emerged last week when he reportedly discussed it in a private meeting with advisers.

Danish politicians poured scorn on the idea, with former prime minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen describing it as an “April Fool’s Day joke”.

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