Negotiations on the service contract at Thule Air Base have been concluded

Press release from the government of Greenland

Premier of Greenland, Kim Kielsen, and the American ambassador, Carla Sands signed a plan for the future cooperation between Greenland and the USA. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jeppe Kofod and Naalakkersuisoq for Foreign Affairs and Energy, Steen Lynge, have just concluded the negotiations regarding the service contract for Thule Air Base. The agreement allows for a greater Greenlandic imprint and usefulness.

At a virtual high-level meeting on Wednesday October 28, an agreement consisting of four documents, was reached, which together form the result of years of negotiations between the USA, Denmark and Greenland regarding the Thule Air Base (Pituffik). One of the documents is a signed agreement on a plan for further bilateral cooperation between Greenland and the USA.

The Premier of Greenland Kim Kielsen states the following:

“We are sincerely pleased with the agreed plan for our further bilateral cooperation with the USA. It has thus been important for Naalakkersuisut, Inatsisartut and the Greenlandic people to obtain real, tangible benefits from the American presence. We have far better terms than before as a result of a bilateral plan of cooperation, the new tender criteria and contract terms, that we have negotiated in place.

Naalakkersuisoq for Foreign Affairs and Energy Steen Lynge comments:

“The case is of great fundamental importance to Greenland, seeing as it is us that provide the land for the American base, and we are proud that Pituffik’s and Greenland’s key role in American security has now been recognized, in addition to Greenlandic and transatlantic security.”

The new tender criteria will contribute to ensuring that future service contracts at the Thule Air Base will benefit Greenlandic companies. The aim is for Greenland, in the broadest sense, to benefit as much as possible from the American presence. For example, through the development of more apprenticeships, employment opportunities and tax revenues.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Jeppe Kofod states:

“I am very pleased that together we have agreed on new tender criteria. It is no secret that it has been a long and complicated process, and I am both proud and glad that we have achieved a result that will benefit Greenland and the Greenlandic companies in particular. This shows that the cooperation with the United States is strong – and that together we can solve very difficult problems”

The case of the service contract – which includes maintenance, construction and canteen operations, etc. – is based on the fact that in 2014 the USA awarded the contract to a U.S.-owned company. Prior to that, the contract had been in Danish-Greenlandic hands for many years. From the view of the Kingdom of Denmark, the award was contrary to existing agreements between the Kingdom and the United States; the so-called defense agreement complex. Since 2014, the Kingdom and the United States have negotiated new tender criteria with an aim of ensuring the that the contract will be awarded to a Greenlandic/Danish company in the next tender.

At today’s high-level meeting, U.S. Security Adviser Robert C. O’Brien, the U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Denmark Carla Sands, attended from the American side. From the Danish side, Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod. From the Greenlandic side, The Premier of Greenland Kim Kielsen and Naalakkersuisoq for Foreign Affairs and Energy, Steen Lynge. At the meeting, Kielsen and Sands signed an agreement on a joint plan for further cooperation between Greenland and the USA on a long list of acquired areas.

The documents in the package can be accessed through the following link

For further information:

Department of Foreign Affairs: Deputy Minister for Foreign Affaris Kenneth Høegh, + 299 565604
Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Press Officer Oliver Routhe Skov, +45 30541227

Date of publication: 28 Oct 2020

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