Trump's cancellation of Denmark visit
20190613. Folkemødet i Allinge på Bornholm.rrPhoto: News Øresund - Johan Wessmanr© News Øresund...

Trump’s cancellation of Denmark visit, stuns country after the Danish PM called Trump’s suggestion of Greenland purchase as “absurd”. The decision comes less than two weeks before US President’s scheduled visit to Denmark. Danish Queen, Margrethe II, had invited Trump to her country on 2 September.

Denmark’s Prime Minister, Mette Frederiksen’s rebuke is apparently the sole reason why Trump gave second thought to his visit to the Scandinavian country. President Trump said, “Denmark is a very special country with incredible people, but 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.”

The Trump’s cancellation of Denmark visit came late Tuesday. He further said that, “the (Danish) prime minister was able 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 future.”

However, for the Danish Prime Minister it was probably like an opportunity lost in the cancellation of the visit of the world’s most important person, even if not personally than by the virtue of the office he holds. The occasion could have been used to celebrate Denmark’s close relationship with the United States. Probably, she might realize the gravity of the word uttered from her mouth whose consequences she soon felt from the President’s casual response. For he called PM Frederiksen’s remarks “nasty,” and “inappropriate”.

Despite Danish PM’s damage controlling remarks, including in which she reiterated that the recent spat would not change the character of the relations between Denmark and the US, she could not iron out the creases of President’s forehead. The angry Trump said that, “all she had to do was say, ‘no we wouldn’t be interested’, but we can’t treat the US the way they treated us under President Obama…”.

The President Trump further said that, “she’s not talking to me, she’s talking to the United States of America, you don’t talk to the US that way, at least not under me.”

What Lesson This Spat Gives: The Ethics of Bilateralism!

It is important to analyze Trump’s cancellation of Denmark visit in the light of the ethics of bilateral relations in international politics. It is well known that according to the international law, each state is to be treated equal regardless of its size, wealth or military might. Under this definition of nation state, even the smallest state like Vatican is as important (politically), as the world’s most powerful state like the US.

But how that theory translates into the day to day affairs of interstate relations is manifest from the current spat in which both Denmark and the US are involved. The President Trump’s off-the-cuff suggestion of purchasing an island including its 56000 people indicates that deep-rooted problem. The problem that in international relations might-is-right is still as relevant as it was before. With that the big powers often neglect the fact without giving a thought that the colonial era has long gone.

Furthermore, Trump’s arrogant remarks following the obvious reaction from Denmark and Greenland suggests how bilateralism shrinks to unilateralism when the two unequal states are involved. Finally, the Trump’s statement that the Danish rebuke is directed at United States is fallacious. His personal “suggestion” to purchase Greenland without the consent of its inhabitants as well as that of Denmark which owns the island, simply amounts to insanity.