14
Wednesday
November 2018
6:32 PM IST
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India to host Italy on grass in Kolkata        It won't be easy for Mary Kom, says High Performance Director Nieva        Sensex rebounds 332 pts on easing crude, rupee gains        Govt mulls second round of 2,500 MW medium-term PPA auction        UK says Brexit deal 'almost within touching distance'        Trump criticises Macron again over European defence remarks        Infiltration bid foiled by Army in J&K, two terrorists killed        Delhi's pollution remains 'severe' as light showers further deteriorates air quality: authorities        Flipkart Group CEO Binny Bansal quits over 'serious personal misconduct' charges        Preparing for Australia tour by watching videos: Shami        India invites Swedish companies to explore investment opportunities        Govt cancels ED officer Rajeshwar Singh's leave        175 dead, over 10,000 affected by Nigeria cholera outbreak        Lankan parties move SC against Parliament dissolution by Prez Sirisena        Delhi pollution: Task forces conducts meetings on WhatsApp for urgent decisions        PM slams Rahul, Sonia for questioning note ban; need no certificate from those on bail        70 per cent turnout in first phase of Chhattisgarh polls: EC        Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha attacks NDA ally Nitish Kumar amid reports of RLSP MLA joining JD(U)        Mining Baron Janardhana Reddy Remanded in Custody Till November 24 for 'Shielding' Ponzi Scam Accused Father-Son        Death toll hits 25 from wildfires at both ends of California        
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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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NATIONAL NEWS
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