Diplomatic Briefing

Your exclusive news aggregator handpicked daily!

Archive for Denmark

Newsline: US ambassador to Denmark makes Twitter claim about own vote

The United States Ambassador to Denmark Carla Sands has been criticised for tweeting a claim that her own vote had not been counted in the country’s general election. Earlier this week, Sands posted on her personal Twitter account a screenshot which she claimed showed her absentee ballot in the state of Pennsylvania had not been registered. (https://www.thelocal.dk/20201112/us-ambassador-to-denmark-makes-false-twitter-claim-about-own-vote) Absentee or mail-in votes in the state can be tracked using the voter’s name, date of birth and the county they voted in. All of this information for Sands is public. Several other Twitter users – as well as the New York Times – then looked up Sands’ vote on the Pennsylvania state government website and found it was indeed registered, on October 15th. It is unclear when the information on Sands’ vote would have been updated to Pennsylvania’s election website. Sands, who was appointed by President Donald Trump in 2017, has made several Twitter posts since the US election in support of Trump’s claims of election fraud. The NYT writes that the US State Department did not respond to its request for comment after the paper sent press officers screen shots of both Sands’ tweets and the Pennsylvania election website showing her vote was counted. Danish broadcaster TV2 said it was unable to reach Sands for comment.

Newsline: Denmark to Open Embassy in Baghdad

Denmark said on Thursday it plans to open an embassy in Baghdad this autumn as part of its efforts to help combat Islamic State and contribute to the stabilization of the situation in both Iraq and Syria. “With our commitment, we help to ensure that Islamic State doesn’t once again gain a foothold in the region and thus the opportunity to threaten Europe and Denmark,” Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said in a statement. (https://www.usnews.coam/news/world/articles/2020-09-10/denmark-to-open-embassy-in-baghdad) Denmark will use its representation to strengthen the dialogue with Iraq in areas such as migration, counter-terrorism and prosecution of crimes committed by Islamic State, he said. Denmark takes over the leadership of a NATO-led mission training Iraqi security forces from Canada by the end of 2020.

Newsline: Top US diplomat Pompeo visits Denmark after diplomatic tussle over Greenland

A year after the U.S. and Denmark butted heads over President Donald Trump’s offer to buy Greenland, his secretary of state is visiting the Nordic country on Wednesday, with Arctic issues at the top of the agenda. He is then expected to hold talks with his Danish counterpart Jeppe Kofod at noon, when they will be joined by foreign affairs representatives for Greenland and the Faroe Islands, also a Danish autonomous territory. In Kofod’s words, Denmark considers the U.S. its “absolutely closest ally” and has contributed troops to NATO missions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. But relations hit some turbulence in August 2019 when Trump floated the idea of the U.S. buying Greenland, an Arctic territory covering over 2 million square kilometers. Frederiksen called the proposal “absurd,” leading Trump to cancel a planned visit to Copenhagen over the “nasty” tone of the response. While the offer was the subject of some ridicule, analysts say it is also indicative of the U.S.’ renewed strategic interest in the Arctic region, which had subsided somewhat after the end of the Cold War. A few phone calls between the countries have since eased the tensions, and Greenland officials say they want to put the affair behind them. “What we said in the past and what we do today are two different things. And what matters is what we do and what we say today,” Greenland foreign affairs representative Steen Lynge told reporters Tuesday. (https://www.dailysabah.com/world/americas/top-us-diplomat-pompeo-visits-denmark-after-diplomatic-tussle-over-greenland) The U.S. reopened a consulate in Greenland’s capital Nuuk last month, with approval from Copenhagen, and provided a $12.1 million aid package in April. Greenland is also home to another strategic American asset, the Thule Air Base, which is the U.S. Air Force’s northernmost base.

Newsline: Chile to shut down its embassies in Greece, Denmark, Algeria, Syria and Romania

The Chilean ambassadors of Greece, Denmark, Algeria, Syria and Romania were informed, that they will have to finish their affairs before the end of the year, 24 Horas reported. The closure of the embassies are occurring in order to provide a greater national presence in Brussels, considered the unofficial capital of the European Union, as well as in Vienna (Austria). (https://greekcitytimes.com/2020/06/08/chile-to-shut-down-its-embassy-in-athens/) The measure was taken by Foreign Minister Teodoro Ribera, after the Strategic Planning Directorate asked to evaluate the political, economic and development relevance of the different nations where Chile has embassies.

Newsline: Denmark welcomes US consulate opening in Greenland’s Nuuk

Political opinions throughout Denmark have welcomed the proposal of a U.S. Consulate opening in Nuuk, Greenland’s capital. “We think it’s quite a good idea,” Soeren Espersen, Foreign Ministry spokesperson of the right-wing Danish People’s Party, said. (http://www.china.org.cn/world/2019-08/26/content_75137868.htm) The U.S. State Department, in a letter sent to Congress Thursday, said a U.S. Consulate in Greenland would be “a critical component of our efforts to increase U.S. presence in the Arctic and would serve as an effective platform to advance U.S. interests in Greenland.” Denmark and Greenland’s warm response to the news may come as a surprise to international readers, especially in the wake of the U.S. President Donald Trump’s earlier proposal to purchase Greenland from Denmark and his reaction to the Danish prime minister’s rejection to his offer. “The consulate is nothing new. They did it during World War II. Denmark has its own consulates; 10 to 12 consulates all around the U.S. It’s all part of strengthening the cooperation between our two countries so we have absolutely no objections to that,” said Soeren Espersen. Asked if he agreed with analysts in the Danish news media, who questioned if Trump’s proposal to purchase Greenland was in part due to Danish unwillingness to take Greenland’s strategic importance seriously, Espersen replied “Well, from a military angle we don’t”, adding “Maybe we have worked too little on strengthening the Kingdom. We have neglected this for some years and I think what happened has been a wake-up call.” Meanwhile, the Greenland government of Naalakkersuisut, enthusiastically welcomed the news of a U.S. consulate opening. “Greenland is a part of North America,” said Greenland Minister for Foreign Affairs Ane Lone Bagger. “We, therefore, welcome the decision of the U.S. government to the reestablishment of a permanent Department of State presence in Nuuk — we have a lot to discuss. A presence in Nuuk will help the Americans better understand our country and our society, which is a prerequisite for good and fruitful cooperation in the future,” said the minister on Greenland’s official website on Saturday.

Newsline: Former US ambassador to Denmark says Trump canceling trip ‘is just not the way you treat an ally’

The former US ambassador to Denmark lambasted President Donald Trump Wednesday for his decision to cancel a trip to the country after its leader declined to discuss Trump’s interest in purchasing Greenland during the visit, saying the move is “not the way you treat an ally.” “I think it’s sad, honestly, because this is just not the way you treat an ally,” Rufus Gifford, who served in the Obama administration, told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on “New Day.” “And to cancel the trip in this way is just a shame. It’s absolutely a shame.” (https://edition.cnn.com/2019/08/21/politics/rufus-gifford-donald-trump-denmark-trip-greenland/index.html) On Tuesday, Trump announced in a tweet that he would be postponing his upcoming trip to Denmark “based on” comments by Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, who told a newspaper earlier this week that the President’s interest in purchasing Greenland was “absurd” and that Greenland, an autonomous Danish territory, “is not for sale.”

Newsline: Norway summons Iranian ambassador over alleged assassination plot in Denmark

Norway summoned the Iranian ambassador on Thursday over a suspected assassination plot against an Iranian Arab opposition figure in Denmark involving a Norwegian citizen of Iranian background. Denmark said on Tuesday it suspected the Iranian government intelligence service had tried to carry out an assassination on its soil. It is now calling for fresh European Union-wide sanctions against the Islamic Republic. A Norwegian citizen of Iranian background was arrested in Sweden on Oct. 21 in connection with the plot and extradited to Denmark, Swedish security police have said. “During the meeting we underlined that the activity, that has come to light through the investigation in Denmark, is unacceptable,” Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soereide said in a statement.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-denmark-security-iran-norway/norway-summons-iranian-ambassador-over-alleged-assassination-plot-in-denmark-idUSKCN1N65ID

Newsline: Denmark is snubbing the American ambassador

While the American ambassador’s reception was previously a highlight of the Danish LGBTQ pride festivities, this year Danes are publicly snubbing the event as a protest of the Trump administration’s nonstop attacks on LGBTQ people. Former ambassador Rufus Gifford, a gay man, hosted the annual celebration during the Obama presidency when an invitation was the hottest ticket in Copenhagen. This time around, even Copenhagen Pride is refusing to attend. Trump’s ambassador, Carla Sands, has inherited a difficult position when it comes to LGBTQ rights. While Gifford was Obama’s unofficial “ambassador to the gay community,” the Trump administration has been actively hostile to LGBTQ people.

https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2018/08/denmark-snubbing-american-ambassador-trumps-attacks-lgbtq-rights/

Newsline: US Ambassador to Denmark Selling $37M Mansion

With the U.S. ambassador to Denmark away on business, a lucky buyer can play in her opulent villa. However, playtime isn’t cheap. Located in the lofty environs of the prestigious Moraga Estates, in Bel Air, CA, the ambassador’s mansion is on the market for $37 million. Carla Sands built the residence with her late husband, real estate mogul Fred Sands. She was a generous contributor to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, and after Trump’s victory in 2016, Sands was appointed to the president’s economic advisory council. The council was eventually disbanded, but Sands went on to be appointed and confirmed as the U.S. ambassador to Denmark.

https://www.realtor.com/news/unique-homes/ambassador-to-denmark-mansion/

Newsline: Turkish embassy in Denmark attacked with petrol bombs

At least two people attacked Turkey’s embassy in Copenhagen with petrol bombs early on Monday causing some minor damage to the exterior of the building but no injuries, police in the Danish capital said. The building was empty at the time. Police were at the scene investigating and no one had been arrested, a police official told Reuters.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-denmark-attacks-turkey/turkish-embassy-in-denmark-attacked-with-petrol-bombs-no-injuries-police-idUSKBN1GV0FI