Denmark approves new U.S. consulate in Greenland

FILE PHOTO: Denmark's Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod arrives to address the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York City, New York, U.S., September 26, 2019. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Denmark has approved the establishment of a U.S. consulate in Greenland, an autonomous part of Denmark, four months after rebuffing U.S. President Donald Trump’s idea of buying the island which stunned Copenhagen and caused a diplomatic spat.

A new consulate is part of a broader move by Washington to expand its diplomatic and commercial presence in Greenland and the Arctic.

“We continue, together with Greenland, the dialogue with the United States about development in the Arctic and the close cooperation on U.S. engagement in Greenland,” foreign minister Jeppe Kofod said in a statement.

The row in August caused Trump to cancel a planned state visit to Denmark.

At a December NATO summit, the Danish prime minister, after bilateral talks with Trump, announced plans for greater strategic cooperation with the U.S. in the Arctic, while also promising to increase surveillance in the region.

The United States last had a consulate in Greenland between 1940 and 1953.

The Danish foreign ministry will have to approve, whoever the United States choose to lead the consulate, it said.

Reporting by Nikolaj Skydsgaard and Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen; Editing by Alexandra Hudson