US President Donald Trump: Source: BBC

US President Donald Trump has postponed a state visit to Denmark after the government told him that its autonomous territory Greenland was not for sale.

The Danish Royal House expressed “surprise” at Trump’s cancellation while commentators accused Trump of acting like a “colonial overlord”.

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“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,” Trump tweeted on Tuesday.

“The Prime Minister was able to save a great deal of expense and effort for both the United States and Denmark by being so direct.”

His comments came two days after Frederiksen had rejected the president’s proposal to possibly buy Greenland as “absurd”.

The decision confirms just how interested he was in purchasing Greenland, an idea initially dismissed as a joke by some, but which the White House later insisted had a serious purpose because of its strategic location.

The territory has been essential to US defence since World War II.

Prime Minister Frederiksen was due to hold a press conference at 1300 GMT on Wednesday.