The US is an important strategic partner in Greenland, says Danish PM

Earlier, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen called the idea of the U.S. purchasing the island absurd.

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Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said on Monday she hoped for even stronger strategic cooperation between Greenland, Denmark and the United States after calling U.S. President Donald Trump’s idea of selling Greenland to the U.S. absurd.

Frederiksen, on a two-day visit to the Danish autonomous territory, said Greenland’s economic interests were separate from security policy matters but that the United States remained its closest ally.

[Danish PM says Trump’s idea of selling Greenland to U.S. is absurd]

A defense treaty between Denmark and the United States dating back to 1951 gives the U.S. military rights over the Thule Air Base in northern Greenland.

Greenland, located between the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans, is dependent on Danish economic support. It handles its own domestic affairs while Copenhagen looks after defence and foreign policy.

On Sunday, Frederiksen told newspaper Sermitsiaq that Greenland was not for sale and the idea of selling it to the U.S. was absurd, after an economic adviser to President Donald Trump confirmed the U.S. interest in buying the world’s largest island.

[Washington Arctic experts say Trump’s Greenland purchase idea shouldn’t be taken too seriously]

Trump has said that he had recently discussed the possibility, though he said such a move was not an immediate priority.

Trump is due to visit Copenhagen early next month, when the Arctic will be on the agenda in meetings with Frederiksen and Prime Minister Kim Kielsen of Greenland.