Greenland blasts Denmark: “Your arrogance is devastating”

Frigid relations pushing world’s biggest island towards independence

Greenland’s membership in the Danish Commonwealth is looking increasingly bleak following Greenland’s government openly chastising the Danes for ignoring the island’s desire for independence.

Greenland’s foreign minister, Vittus Qujaukitsoq, has blasted Denmark for denying Greenland the chance to join international fishing organisations such as NAFO and NEAFC.

“The arrogance is devastating for our relations with the commonwealth,” Qujaukitsoq told Politiken newspaper.

“The state of things following years of denial and covert games from the Danish side has shown us that Greenland has not been taken seriously.”

READ MORE: Greenland threatening to drag Denmark and the US in front of the UN

Frigid relations
Qujaukitsoq also criticised Denmark for permitting US bases, such as the one in Thule, describing the proceedings as “a hodgepodge of 75 years of accumulated frustration and powerlessness”.

He contends that Greenland has been cheated out of compensation for hosting the bases, which only “fostered trouble and pollution” while Denmark gained more influence via its NATO membership.

In October, Greenland established a department for independence, and last month the island threatened to drag Denmark and the US in front of a UN court in the wake of pollution caused by the remnants of an abandoned US missile base, Camp Century.

A unanimous Greenlandic Parliament also decreed that the defence agreement between Denmark and the US should be renegotiated to better accommodate Greenland for hosting the Thule Base. Reconciliatory meetings between the two nations have so far proven unfruitful.

READ MORE: New US atomic scandal uncovered in Greenland

Danes deny
Denmark’s prime minister, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, didn’t wish to comment, but the foreign minister, Anders Samuelsen, said the criticism was groundless and damaging.

“I don’t recognise the arrogant approach that Vittus Qujaukitsoq has alluded to,” Samuelsen told Politiken.

“We have clearly stated, including in our government platform, that it is key for the government to handle the important cases regarding the Thule Base and Camp Century in co-operation with Greenland. We must continue to do so via a close and constructive co-operation that keeps a focus on solutions.”

Lots to discuss: US secretary of state, John Kerry visited Greenland in June. Vittus Qujaukitsoq is on the far right next to former foreign minister Kristian Jensen. Seated behind them is the US ambassador to Denmark, Rufus Gifford (photo: US Department of State)
Lots to discuss: the US secretary of state, John Kerry (left), visited Greenland in June. Vittus Qujaukitsoq (right) was sat next to the former foreign minister, Kristian Jensen, when seated behind them was the US ambassador to Denmark, Rufus Gifford (photo: US Department of State)




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