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News that U.S. President Donald Trump was thinking about purchasing Greenland was greeted as a belated April Fool’s Day prank or epic trolling of the media. Trump soon confirmed that the reports were accurate, however, adding that it “would be nice” for the United States to acquire the territory. The response of the government of Denmark, the sovereign authority in Greenland, which called the idea “absurd,” outraged the U.S. president, who canceled a visit to Copenhagen next month. This is no way for the world’s leading power to conduct diplomacy.

Diplomats the world over have been aghast since it was reported that Trump was looking at Greenland as “a large real estate deal.” First dismissed as a joke, it was soon revealed that the president was serious. Greenland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded with a deft turn, tweeting that the island “is rich in valuable resources such as minerals, the purest water and ice, fish stocks, seafood, renewable energy and is a new frontier for adventure tourism.” But, it concluded, “We’re open for business, not for sale.”

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