US President Donald Trump nixes UK trip to open new embassy | News | DW | 12.01.2018
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US President Donald Trump nixes UK trip to open new embassy

The US president has canceled an upcoming trip to London to unveil a new embassy, saying he disagreed with its location and its cost. Trump also mistakenly blamed ex-President Barack Obama for the move.

US President Donald Trump said late on Thursday that he would not go through with his planned trip to the UK to open Washington's new embassy next month. Trump said his decision was based on the decision to move the old embassy — a move he mistakenly blamed on the administration of his predecessor, Barack Obama.

"Reason I canceled 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 (€995.5 billion)," Trump wrote on Twitter, "Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!"

However, the decision to move the embassy into a new, elaborate fortress on the South Bank overlooking the Thames was made before Obama took office in 2009.

Worried by possible protests?

According to the British media, however, mass protests planned for Trump's arrival may have played a role in his decision.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is now expected to perform the ribbon-cutting for the new complex which, contrary to Trump's tweet, cost $1 billion (€829.5 million) to construct. The funds were raised almost entirely by selling off other properties in London.

Although British Prime Minister Theresa May invited Trump to a state visit shortly after his inauguration last year, the threat of demonstrations and the cold shoulder from MPs in Westminister prompted the president to indefinitely postpone a formal visit.

es/law (AFP, Reuters)

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