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Trump cancels UK visit, won't open new embassy

Reuters
January 12. 2018 3:23AM
The United States embassy building is seen during a press preview near the River Thames in London on Dec. 13, 2017. (REUTERS/Stefan Rousseau/Pool/File Photo)



U.S. President Donald Trump canceled a visit to London scheduled for early this year, saying he was disappointed with the "Obama administration having sold" the U.S. embassy in the British capital.

"(The) 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," Trump said in a tweet late on Thursday.

However, the embassy website showed that the decision to move the location was taken months before Barack Obama took office in January 2009.

The U.S. Embassy & Consulates in the UK said in October 2008 the embassy would be relocated for security reasons.

"Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!," Trump said on Twitter.

The Daily Mail earlier reported the cancellation of Trump's UK visit in which he was expected to inaugurate the new embassy.

The United States is leaving behind an imposing 1960 stone and concrete embassy in London's upmarket Grosvenor Square - an area known as 'Little America' during World War Two, when the square also housed the military headquarters of General Dwight D. Eisenhower.

The new embassy on the South Bank is a veritable fortress set back at least 100 feet (30 meters) from surrounding buildings - mostly newly-erected high-rise residential blocks - and incorporating living quarters for the U.S. Marines permanently stationed inside.

The $1 billion construction, overlooking the River Thames, was wholly funded by the sale of other properties in London.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)


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