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Open for business, not for sale: Greenland tells Trump

Trump has reportedly taken an interest in Greenland, in part, because of its natural resources, such as coal, zinc, copper and iron ore.

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Copenhagen, Aug 16 (IANS) Copenhagen, Trump is said to have asked his aides and the White House counsel to look into the possibility of buying Greenland, an autonomous Danish territory, according to media reports.

Reacting on the reports about the US President’s plan, the Greenland government said in a statement: “Greenland is not for sale, and can’t be sold, but Greenland is ready for negotiations to enter collaborations with other countries, including the US.”

Similar comments were made by other politicians in Greenland and Denmark.

“It must be an April Fool’s Day joke…but totally out of (season)!”, tweeted Denmark’s former Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen.

Greenland is the largest island in the world (after Australia, which is defined as a continent in its own right). Eighty per cent of the island, located between the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans, is covered by an ice cap and has a population of about 56,000 people.

Greenland has a limited self-government and its own Parliament. It depends on the government in Copehnagen for foreign affairs and national security.

“It’s a ‘no thanks’ from here”, said Aaja Chemnitz Larsen, an MP from the the Inuit Ataqatigiit party, Greenland’s second largest.

She said her homeland “was not a commodity that could just be sold” and that it was “tremendously uncomfortable to hear it discussed in such terms”.

The Berlingske newspaper quoted Larsen as saying that it would be better all round for Greenland to stay with Denmark and eventually be granted full independence.

Asked if she did not find it flattering that Trump found Greenland attractive, she said: “It is Greenland’s geostrategic location that Trump is interested in. Not the country itself, or Greenlanders. So no – it’s not flattering.”

Trump has reportedly taken an interest in Greenland, in part, because of its natural resources, such as coal, zinc, copper and iron ore.

“If he is truly contemplating this, then this is final proof, that he has gone mad,” foreign affairs spokesman for the populist Danish People’s Party, Soren Espersen, told national broadcaster DR.

“The thought of Denmark selling 50,000 citizens to the United States is completely ridiculous.”

According to reports, Trump is planning to make his first formal visit to Denmark on September 2. He will meet the country’s new Socialist Prime Minister, Mette Frederiksen – who herself will make her first official visit to Greenland next week.

Frederiksen has not commented on the reports.

The US has long seen the island as being strategically important and established a radar base there at the start of the Cold War.

US Republican Representative Mike Gallagher described Trump’s reported idea as a “smart geopolitical move”.

“The US has a compelling strategic interest in Greenland, and this should absolutely be on the table,” he tweeted.

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Govt must tell forward plan to the country: Congress

Applicable from Monday, June 1, the fresh order issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) spoke of the expanded fresh guidelines a day ahead of the end of lockdown 4.0.

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New Delhi, May 31 : On the last day of the lockdown 4.0, the Congress has questioned the government on its strategy and plan to control the coronavirus infection, exit route out of the lockdown to revive the economy and a way forward.

Chief Spokesperson of the Congress, Randeep Surjewala said, “Today, we witnessed biggest ‘Single Day Spike’ in #COVID19 infection of 8,380. Total Infection at 1,82,490.”

He asked, “The fifth Lockdown begins tomorrow and Congress posed 4 questions to the government — What is the Govt strategy? Have the Lockdowns failed? Is there a blueprint to fight Corona? Any plan out of economic havoc?”

The party has been questioning the persistent lockdown without any exit plan which was implemented on March 25.

The Centre on Saturday took an exit step from the 68-day nationwide lockdown, declaring that the restrictions will be limited to only containment zones up to June 30 and that the prohibited activities will be opened in a phased manner in areas outside these zones.

Applicable from Monday, June 1, the fresh order issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) spoke of the expanded fresh guidelines a day ahead of the end of lockdown 4.0.

The nationwide lockdown was imposed on March 25 with the announcement of the restrictions by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. The lockdown was extended thrice earlier.

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Trump to include India, Russia, Australia, S.Korea in G7

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New Delhi/Washington, May 31 : US President Donald Trump has decided to postpone the G7 summit till September and invite India, Russia, Australia and South Korea to discuss a plan on how to deal with the future of China among the 11 most powerful nations.

A White House statement said that after Air Force One touched down at Joint Base Andrews on Saturday night, the President came back to the press cabin to chat, off the record, for several minutes toward the end of the flight.

However, he permitted the White House to use his statement on the record about the G7.

“He is postponing it until September and plans to invite Russia, South Korea, Australia and India,” the statement said.

President Trump took the decision saying: “I don’t feel that as a G7 it properly represents what’s going on in the world. It’s a very outdated group of countries.”

The Group of Seven (G7) is an international inter-governmental economic organization of the seven largest advanced economies of the world comprising the US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Italy and Japan.

The decision to postpone the G7 meeting and include four other nations, “is bringing together our traditional allies to talk about how to deal with the future of China”, White House Director of Strategic Communications Alyssa Alexandra Farah said.

Incidentally, India and China are locked in an intense face-off along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh. Even as President Trump has offered to arbitrate between the two sides, both China and India are using the established mechanisms and communications channels to resolve the issue.

Last week, however, with its new vision document on China, the US announced the onset of its Cold War with the Asian giant, accusing it of exploiting rule-based world order and re-shaping international system in favour of Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) ideology and interests.

Just short of calling it Cold War, the US in its report titled, ‘United States Strategic Approach to the People’s Republic of China’, released by the White House, declared that it is “responding to the CCP’s direct challenge by acknowledging that the two major powers are in a “strategic competition and protecting” their “interests appropriately”.

On Friday, the US, the UK, Australia and Canada jointly reprimanded China, stating that its decision to impose a new security law on Hong Kong was in direct violation of international treaties.

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Centre allows movement of persons and goods across borders from June 1

The MHA emphasised that no state/UT shall stop the movement of any type of goods/cargo for cross land border under treaties with neighbouring states.

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New Delhi, May 30 : The Centre on Saturday, while announcing the guidelines for phased re-opening of the lockdown, said that from June 1, there will be no restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods.

In an exit mode from the 68-day nationwide lockdown, the Centre said that restrictions will be limited to only containment zones up to June 30. Applicable from Monday, June 1, the fresh order issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said, “There shall be no restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods. No separate permission/ approval/ e-permit will be required for such movements.”

The MHA emphasised that no state/UT shall stop the movement of any type of goods/cargo for cross land border under treaties with neighbouring states.

However, if a state/ Union Territory based on reasons of public health and its assessment of the situation proposes to regulate movement of persons, it will give wide publicity in advance regarding the restrictions to be placed on such movement, and the related procedures to be followed.

The MHA said, “Movement by passenger trains and Shramik Special trains; domestic passenger air travel; movement of Indian nationals stranded outside the country and of specified persons to travel abroad; evacuation of foreign nationals; and sign-on and sign-off of Indian seafarers will continue to be regulated as per the SOPs issued.”

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