US president Donald Trump said he is postponing an upcoming meeting with Denmark’s prime minister because she is not interested in discussing a proposed sale of Greenland.
Mr Trump recently floated the idea of purchasing the island – owned by Denmark – but said as recently as Sunday that such a transaction was not a top priority.
Denmark had scoffed at the idea, saying 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”.
Prime Minister Frederiksen had called Mr Trump’s musing about buying Greenland “an absurd discussion” after the former real estate mogul began to talk up the idea.
Mr Trump said that he was interested in such a deal for strategic purposes on Sunday, but said a purchase was not a priority at this time.
“It’s not No. 1 on the burner,” he told reporters.
The president 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 in a tweet on Tuesday announcing the cancellation of the visit, Mr Trump wrote: “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!”
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 Ms Frederiksen and business leaders.
A spokeswoman for Denmark’s royal palace said Mr Trump’s decision was “a surprise”.
She told The Associated Press that the household, which formally had invited Mr Trump to visit Denmark on September 2 and 3 as part of a European trip, had no further comments.
The trip, set to begin at the end of August, included a stop in Poland for Mr Trump to help commemorate the 80th anniversary of the start of the Second World War.
Mr Trump is expected to go ahead with the Poland portion of the trip.