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President Donald Trump speaks with reporters on the south lawn of the White House last night Alex Brandon/PA Images
Mette Frederiksen

'A wonderful woman': Trump praises Danish PM after phone call following row over Greenland sale

Trump cancelled a trip to Denmark earlier this week over the row.

US PRESIDENT DONALD Trump has praised Danish prime minister Mette Frederiksen, two days after cancelling a state visit to the country after he was told that Greenland is not for sale.

Trump confirmed yesterday that he received a call from Frederiksen, whom he had described as “nasty” when she rejected his idea of buying the Danish territory.

And he appeared to have performed a u-turn in his opinion of the Danish leader, calling the head of his country’s close ally “a wonderful woman”.

“We had a great conversation,” Trump told reporters as he prepared to leave for the G7 summit in France.

“We have a very good relationship with Denmark, and we agreed to speak later. But she was very nice. She put a call in, and I appreciated it very much,” Trump said.

Earlier this week, Trump tweeted that he had cancelled an upcoming visit to Denmark following the spat over the sale of Greenland.

His comments sparked a strong reaction from both sides of the political aisle in Denmark, while Frederiksen said she was both annoyed and surprised at the cancellation the visit, although she said the two countries were not in crisis.

Despite his turnabout, Trump gave no indication that the visit would be resurrected.

Escalating trade war

Separately, the US president hit out at China last night, vowing to respond to the country’s announcement of new tariffs and its order for American companies to leave.

In a blistering Twitter tirade, Trump called into doubt chances for a quick resolution to an escalating trade war between the world’s economic superpowers, which could cover most imports and exports between the them by the end of the year.

“We don’t need China and, frankly, would be far… better off without them,” Trump tweeted.

The statement came ahead of a meeting of leaders of the G7 nations this weekend, as tensions mount between Trump and the Europeans, Canada and Japan over trade tariffs.

Friction has already slowed US growth and undercut the global economy, and the threat of further deterioration sent stock markets falling sharply. 

- © AFP 2019 with reporting from Stephen McDermott.

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