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Denmark says it could allow US troops on its soil in new defence deal

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen on Thursday said Denmark was ready to allow US military troops on its soil as part of a new bilateral defence agreement with the United States.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen
Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said on Thursday that Denmark could allow US troops on its soil as part of a new bilateral defence deal with the United States. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix

Denmark and the United States will begin negotiations over a new bilateral defence agreement which could mean the presence of American soldiers in Denmark, Frederiksen said at a briefing.

“The United States have reached out to Denmark, proposing a bilateral defence cooperation. The exact nature of this collaboration has not yet been defined but it could include the presence of US troops, materiel and military equipment on Danish soil,” Frederiksen, whose country is a member of NATO, told reporters.

Further details of any agreement are yet to be negotiated, she added.

.“We are pleased that the Unites States has reached out to Denmark with a proposal for a bilateral defence agreement,” the Danish PM said.

“The exact nature of this collaboration has not yet been defined but it could include the presence of US troops, materiel and military equipment on Danish soil,” she continued.

The bilateral agreement is unrelated to the current situation between Ukraine and Russia, Frederiksen also said at the briefing.

READ ALSO: Denmark boosts military preparedness amid Ukraine tensions

But talks between Denmark and the US will be designed to give the Americans better access to Europe, Danish Minister of Defence Morten Bødskov said at the briefing, at which Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod also spoke.

“It is in our interest that the US takes an even more direct part in our security,” Bødskov said.

“This is an agreement that allow further partnerships and more activities at selected military locations in Denmark. It will strengthen our partnership with the United States in several areas,” he said.

Talks between Denmark and the United States will begin in the forthcoming months, the Ministry of Defence said in a statement.

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POLITICS

Former Danish People’s Party leader quits amid links to new party

Former leader and co-founder of the anti-immigration Danish People’s Party, Kristian Thulesen Dahl, has confirmed his resignation from the party.

Former Danish People’s Party leader quits amid links to new party

Dahl, who lead the right-wing party from 2012 until January this year, confirmed his departure in a Facebook post on Wednesday evening in which he described the decision as “painful”.

Speculation that he would quit had been rife after four other high-profile members of parliament quit the party last weekend.

READ ALSO: Danish People’s Party decimated by new high-profile departures

He is also the 11th member of the Danish People’s Party (Dansk Folkeparti, DF), to leave the party since new leader Morten Messerschmidt was elected as the new leader at a national congress in January.

Departing members have largely cited Messerschmidt’s leadership as a primary reason for their decisions.

DF is now left with just five representatives in parliament, having had 19 elected at the last general election in 2019.

Those numbers are a far cry from the party’s strong showings in the early 2010s, which culminated in a 21 percent vote share and 37 seats at the 2015 general election.

Following last weekend’s departures, Messerschmidt called for Dahl to clarify his position. The ex-leader last week said he would not run for DF in the next general election, set for 2023, but had stopped short of quitting completely.

He wrote on Wednesday that there had been “pressure for me to take the decision on my future now”.

“My belief that things could get better in the party is extinguished so now it’s about moving on,” he also said in comments reported by news wire Ritzau.

Speculation has linked Dahl a new party, Danmarksdemokraterne (“The Denmark Democrats”), launched last week by former Liberal (Venstre) party immigration minister Inger Støjberg.

Støjberg was ejected from parliament late last year following a guilty verdict in a special impeachment court. Having served her sentence for the conviction, she is now bidding to return to parliament with the newly-formed party.

Some of the other DF defectors have already signalled their willingness to join the project, according to reports.

Støjberg on Wednesday said that Dahl would be welcome in her new party, but the former DF member told Ritzau he was yet to consider “whether to be a part of the project”.

“I am pleased that I would be welcome in Inger’s party,” he also said.

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