Trump Cancels Visit To London, Blames Obama For 'Bad' Embassy Deal
Jan 13, 2018, 06:48
When the deal was made in 2008, the US Government said their "goal of a modern, secure and environmentally sustainable embassy could best be met by constructing a new facility". Mr. Trump blamed the Obama administration for the move, accusing it of selling the old embassy for "peanuts" in a "bad deal".
Theresa May invited Trump for a state visit when she became the first world leader to visit the president in the White House a year ago. She later said Trump took her hand in a gentlemanly gesture as they walked down a ramp.
Since then, however, the president has indicated he does not want to take up the invitation if he is going to face mass demonstrations and it had been expected he could make a low-key working visit rather than a trip which involved all the trappings of a state occasion.
The trip, which was not officially on the books, would have been Trump's first visit to the United Kingdom as president.
It is true that the final sale of the imposing Chancery Building in central London and the contract to build a new structure south of the River Thames were signed off under the Obama administration.
"The U.S.is one of our oldest and most valued allies and our strong and deep partnership will endure", the spokesman said.
He said that plans for protests by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and the Labor mayor of London, Sadiq Khan-who has traded barbs with Trump on Twitter-may have been a factor. "And you got the message". "We will not allow US-UK relations to be endangered by some puffed up pompous popinjay in City Hall".
Moreover, the embassy in Grosvenor Square was not outright owned by the U.S. government, but instead had a 999-year lease on the land from the Duke of Westminster, who owns 300 acres of land in central London, including most of Belgravia and Mayfair. Anti-Vietnam War protests in the 1960s drew thousand of Britons, including celebrities of the day like Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger. The purchase price was not disclosed. "I think it's disappointing", Farage told BBC Radio, The Independent reported.
"This isn't just a new office, though, it signifies a new era of friendship between out two countries".
Embassy officials will have to put away the giant novelty scissors and ribbon though, because whatever the reason, he says he's not coming. The U.S. spent £8 million (about $11 million) on security upgrades following the September 11, 2001, attacks, because local residents protested having to live near what they felt was a terror target.
Hours later, Trump's ambassador to Britain, businessman and New York Jets owner Robert "Woody" Johnson, took an entirely different approach to the embassy's relocation and construction in an age when Trump has vowed to shake up America's place in the world - even among rock-solid North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies such as Germany, and, it would appear, in the U.K.as well.
Different British writers have been divided on the building, which will soon be surrounded by 15 billion pounds ($20 billion) of development including luxury apartments, with some calling it "tasteful" or "stunning" but others labelling it "clunky" compared to the elegance of the previous spot.
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