Friday, 22 June, 2018

Trump Cancels Trip to London

The new embassy was due to be opened by Trump next month The new embassy was due to be opened by Trump next month
Ginger Lopez | 13 January, 2018, 03:49

He said Trump's visit "would without doubt have been met by mass peaceful protests".

The president was due to open the new £740m U.S. embassy in south London in February, but has made a decision to cancel the visit.

The American president claimed on Twitter that his reason for calling off the trip was his displeasure at Barack Obama having sold the current embassy for "peanuts" and built a replacement for $1.2bn.

"Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!" the US president added.

Khan added that it was a "mistake" for U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May to have invited the president in the first place.

The decision to move out of Grosvenor Square, the old embassy's location, was made in 2008 under President George W. Bush.

The London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, said on Friday that Trump had clearly "got the message" that many Londoners would not welcome his visit. "It seems he's finally got that message", Khan tweeted.




However, in a tweet last night Trump confirmed that he will not be making the highly contentious trip.

Though Trump's official reason is about the embassy, large street protests are thought to have weighed heavy on the U.S. president's mind.

Trump had also been scheduled to hold talks with prime minister May in No 10 Downing Street, with February 26 and 27 marked in the diary for the visit. British newspapers cited concerns about protests during a visit as officials tried to gauge how much pomp should greet Trump. According to The Guardian, the U.S. State Department managed to cover the $1.2 billion cost by selling off other buildings it owns in London, meaning the total cost of the new embassy for the USA taxpayer was $0 - hardly a "bad deal".

However, since then, Trump irked many in the United Kingdom after retweeting anti-Muslim videos from a leader of Britain's far right.

"But the site was compromised, rather small and was a nightmare for people living and working in the area with the various security restrictions that had to be imposed", he said.

A spokesperson for May told Reuters that the invitation was accepted although no formal date was set. Unrest during the president's visit would be an embarrassment for the United States, which has been one of the U.K.'s closest allies for a century.

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