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GREENLAND

No Trump hotel for ‘real estate’ target Greenland, US president says

US President Donald Trump jokingly promised on Monday that he would not build one of his eponymous hotels in Greenland, the day after he confirmed his interest in buying the Danish territory.

No Trump hotel for 'real estate' target Greenland, US president says
Nuuk, Greenland, on August 19th 2019. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen / Ritzau Scanpix

Trump tweeted a meme depicting the golden Trump International Hotel Las Vegas towering over modest, primary-coloured houses along a rocky coast.

“I promise not to do this to Greenland!” he wrote.

Trump's son Eric also shared the meme on Instagram.

The meme first appeared on Twitter Thursday with the caption: “Greenland in 10 years.” 

It was shared after The Wall Street Journal reported the president's interest in buying the island.

On Sunday, Trump confirmed his interest in doing so but said it was not a priority for his administration.

“Strategically it's interesting and we'd be interested, but we'll talk to (Denmark) a little bit,” he told reporters, adding that he viewed it as a “large real estate deal.”

Denmark colonized the two-million square kilometre island in the 18th century. It is home to only about 57,000 people, most of whom belong to the indigenous Inuit community.

Greenland's ministry of foreign affairs insisted Friday the resource-rich island was ready to talk business, but was not for sale.

Danish PM Mette Frederiksen has described the idea as an “absurd discussion”.

Trump has been invited for a state visit to Denmark, scheduled for September 2nd and 3rd.

READ ALSO: Opinion: Denmark should cancel Trump's state visit

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ENVIRONMENT

Greenland passes law banning uranium mining

Greenland's parliament voted Tuesday to ban uranium mining and exploration in the vast Danish territory, following through on a campaign promise from the ruling left-wing party which was elected earlier this year.

Greenland's parliament voted on November 9th to ban uranium mining. Prime Minister Mute Egede, pictured, said earlier this month he wanted to join the Paris climate agreement.
Greenland's parliament voted on November 9th to ban uranium mining. Prime Minister Mute Egede, pictured, said earlier this month he wanted to join the Paris climate agreement. File photo: Emil Helms/Ritzau Scanpix

The Inuit Ataqatigiit (IA) party won snap elections in April that were originally triggered by divisions over a controversial uranium and rare earth mining project.

The IA won 12 seats in the 31-seat Greenlandic national assembly, beating its rival Siumut, a social democratic party that had dominated politics in the island territory since it gained autonomy in 1979.

On Tuesday 12 MPs in the national assembly voted to ban uranium mining, with nine voting against. 

The IA had campaigned against exploiting the Kuannersuit deposit, which is located in fjords in the island’s south and is considered one of the world’s richest in uranium and rare earth minerals.

The project, led by the Chinese-owned Australian group Greenland Minerals, has not yet been officially abandoned.

But French group Orano announced in May it would not launch exploration despite holding permits to do so.

The massive natural riches of the vast island — measuring two million square kilometres, making it larger than Mexico — have been eyed by many, but few projects have been approved.

The island is currently home to two mines: one for anorthosite, whose deposits contain titanium, and one for rubies and pink sapphires.

While Greenland’s local government is not opposed to all mining activities, it has also banned all oil exploration over concerns for the climate and the environment.

Earlier this month Prime Minister Mute Egede said he wanted to join the Paris climate agreement, which Greenland is one of the few countries not to have ratified.

READ ALSO: Greenland seabed scoured for marine diamonds

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