Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Trump Blames Cancelled London Visit On Obama's Embassy Relocation Choice

Trump Blames Cancelled London Visit On Obama's Embassy Relocation Choice

In a controversial move, May had extended the offer of a state visit when she became the first world leader to meet Trump in the White House following his inauguration past year.

Trump-critics and Brexit opponents seized on the USA president's announcement via a tweet, to say the breakdown showed there was no guarantee the United States and UK would strike a quick trade deal after Brexit, as supporters of the "Leave" campaign have insisted.

Britain's Foreign Fecretary Boris Johnson has blamed UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and London Mayor Sadiq Khan for US President Donald Trump's decision to abandon a visit to London, as he vowed not to let the pair put the "crucial relationship at risk".

"His visit. would without doubt have been met by mass peaceful protests", Khan said.

"We will not allow US-UK relations to be endangered by some puffed-up, pompous popinjay in City Hall", Johnson tweeted.

Trump announced on Twitter that his London trip, originally planned for 2017, was cancelled, citing the move of the the USA embassy from its prestigious Mayfair location to the regenerated Battersea area south of the river Thames, which he wrongly attributed to the Obama administration, as his reason.

He was reportedly due to meet Prime Minister Theresa May at No. 10 Downing Street, with February 26 and 27 provisionally scheduled in the presidential diary.

She said Trump was "wrong" to do it and called the British group "hateful".

According to reports first published by the Daily Mail, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will attend the event in Trump's place.

"The one you're referring to now, the opening of the U.S. embassy, is a matter for the US".

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Writing on Twitter, Mr Trump said he thought the embassy's move from Grosvenor Square in the prestigious Mayfair district of central London to Nine Elms, south of the Thames, was a "bad deal". "She has seen them come and she has seen them go".

"It seems he's finally got the message".

"The US is one of our oldest and most valued allies, and our strong and deep partnership will endure".

The U.S. embassy has been based on the square since 1938 and the area was known as "Little America" during World War Two as General Dwight D. Eisenhower's military headquarters were housed on the square.

Trump also strangely attempted to blame Barack Obama's decision to sell the previous embassy for "peanuts" as a factor in his hastily arranged cancellation - this despite the fact that the decision to sell the Embassy came before Obama was elected in 2008. The purchase price was not disclosed.

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". In 2009, it was given "listed" status which limits changes that can be made to the building's exterior because of its historical significance.

Actually, it was the administration of George W. Bush more than a decade back, which decided the relocation of the United States Embassy just during the widespread push for more security at diplomatic sites of the United States.

Govindia called it an "iconic new zone", pointing out that Apple were moving their offices to the area. In December, Johnson said he was looking forward to welcoming the president. Some local residents opposed measures that they felt would detract from one of London's plushest neighbourhoods while others feared not enough was being done to ensure they would not be caught up in any attack.

The new US embassy is a veritable fortress set back at least 100 feet from surrounding buildings such as high-rise residential blocks and incorporating living quarters for US Marines permanently stationed inside.

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