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April 2018
1:31 PM IST
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CPM amends resolution to allow 'electoral understandings' with Cong        CSK fans head for Pune on special train        Gayle storm blows away Sunrisers        Monetise Air India assets rather than selling stake: SJM to govt        Iraq says it carried out air raid against IS in Syria        Diaz-Canel is Cuba's new president as Castro steps aside        BJP may rope in Swami Aseemanand to work in West Bengal        SC website down amidst fears of hacking        L-G approves proposal to compensate consumers for unscheduled power cuts in Delhi        Loya death: SC says attempts to scandalise judiciary, dismisses pleas        Nawaz Sharif, daughter leave for London        Former US first lady Barbara Bush dead at 92        Manmohan Singh on Kathua, Unnao rape cases: ‘PM Narendra Modi should follow own advice to me, speak more often’        Kathua rape ‘barbaric’, says President Kovind        KKR breach Rajasthan fortress at Jaipur, beat RR by 7 wickets        Virat Kohli downbeat despite smashing IPL run record        BJP ministers in J&K government asked to resign, to be replaced with new faces        Banks are unable to meet the demand for cash, says ATM industry        India, Sweden to enhance cooperation in defence, cyber security        Castro set to step aside as Cuban president, his reforms incomplete        
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International News
Trump cancels working visit to UK over 'bad' new US embassy
 
(London, Jan 12, 2018):President Donald Trump today cancelled a "working visit" to the UK planned for next month to officially launch a new US embassy, blaming a "bad deal" struck by the previous Obama-administration to relocate the base from central London to an "off location".

The US president launched his attack on Twitter against the embassy's move from Grosvenor Square in the posh Mayfair area of the city to Nine Elms, south of the Thames, in a USD 1.2 billion project.

He wrote: "Reason I cancelled my trip to London is that I am not a big fan of the Obama administration having sold perhaps the best located and finest embassy in London for 'peanuts', only to build a new one in an off location for 1.2 billion dollars. Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!".

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will now step in for the launch of the new embassy site, which will open to staff on January 16.

The short visit by Trump in February was not the full State Visit proposed by British Prime Minister Theresa May on the invitation of Queen Elizabeth II, for which no date has yet been set.

Downing Street said no date has been confirmed for any visit by Trump and that the opening of the US embassy "is a matter for the US".

The "strong and deep" partnership between Britain and the US "will endure" despite Trump's cancellation, a spokesman was quoted as saying by the BBC.

However, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan - who has clashed with the president in the past - said the US president had "got the message" that many Londoners were staunchly opposed to his policies and actions.

Sections of the UK media claim that the visit was cancelled amid fears of mass protests as the embassy's plan to move from Mayfair to Nine Elms in London pre-dated the Barack Obama administration and was first reported in October 2008, when George W Bush was still the president.

Citing security and environmental reasons, the US State Department had agreed to sell the current embassy building in Grosvenor Square to the Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Co, which intends to turn it into a luxury hotel.

On the embassy web page about the project, it said: "The project has been funded entirely by the proceeds of the sale of other US Government properties in London, not through appropriated funds".

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.

Downing Street had hoped to announce the dates this week.

The working visit cancellation follows a strain in UK-US relations, with May criticising Trump's decision to retweet material posted by the far-right extremist group, Britain First, last November.

Trump had responded by tweeting directly to the British PM that she should focus on tackling domestic terrorism.


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