US & Greenland mending ties after Trump's infamous proposal to buy it off Denmark as 'large real estate'

The US administration has changed its policy towards Greenland from possible business to "partnership," with Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirming the "strategic" Arctic island is no longer on Washington's shopping list.

The top US official has visited the ice-covered region, an autonomous territory of Denmark, having met with both Greenland's and Denmark's officials. The chances of Washington purchasing the land were seemingly on top of the agenda, with politicians having made numerous comments on the matter.

Blinken's visit to Greenland "is not a real estate deal," Minister of foreign affairs Pele Broberg has said, referring to the infamous comment by former US president Donald Trump. In 2019, Trump confirmed reports he had been considering the "strategically interesting" purchase, which he regarded as "essentially a large real estate deal". The concept then caused a diplomatic fallout, with Danish officials affirming that the territory was "not for sale." 

"A real estate deal means land with nothing on it, nobody on it. Secretary Blinken has made it clear that he's here for the people living in the Arctic, for the people living in Greenland," Broberg said.

While visiting the area, believed to have huge amounts of oil and mineral resources beneath its ice, Blinken said he was "resolutely focused on today and tomorrow, not yesterday." Having confirmed Trump's plan was off the table, the US official said he came "to demonstrate that the way we see the relationship is a partnership."

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"We have shared interests, we have shared values, at a time when the world is ever-more complicated and challenging," Blinken commented. Last year, Washington reopened its consulate on the island — the first diplomatic presence since 1953, and gifted Greenland an aid package worth over $12 million. It has a military presence there, with its Thule Air Base relatively close to the Arctic Circle being the US's northernmost base. 

The vast territory of Greenland in the Arctic has been of interest not only for Washington. China has long had investment ambitions for one of the world's biggest rare earth reserves, with Beijing having declared it wanted to "participate in the governance of the Arctic."

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