Trump can­celled Bri­tain trip due to ‘threat of protests’

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The Gulf Today - - WORLD -

LONDON: The Bri­tish govern­ment blamed the threat of mass protests for Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s de­ci­sion on Fri­day to can­cel a visit to London to open the new US em­bassy, and warned that crit­i­cism of the White House risked harm­ing US-UK re­la­tions.

Trump said he was aban­don­ing next month’s trip be­cause he did not like the lo­ca­tion and cost of the new em­bassy build­ing.

But For­eign Sec­re­tary Boris John­son sug­gested the de­ci­sion was prompted by the op­po­si­tion to Trump in Bri­tain, and warned such crit­ics “seem de­ter­mined to put this cru­cial re­la­tion­ship at risk.”

Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May of­fered Trump a state visit to Bri­tain one year AGO, when SHE BE­CAME THE irst FOR­EIGN leader to visit the White House af­ter his in­au­gu­ra­tion.

But the date has yet to be set in the face of deep hos­til­ity to the pres­i­dent in Bri­tain, prompt­ing spec­u­la­tion it Could BE turned Into A lower proile trip fo­cused around the open­ing of the new em­bassy.

Trump tweeted overnight that he would not at­tend the cer­e­mony, ini­tially sched­uled for next month.

“I am not a big fan of the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion hav­ing sold per­haps THE Best LO­CATED AND in­est Em­bassy in London for ‘peanuts,’ only to build a new one in an off lo­ca­tion for 1.2 bil­lion dol­lars,” he wrote.

“Bad deal. Wanted me to cut rib­bon — NO!”

The em­bassy move is in fact the re­sult of a decade-long pro­ject ini­ti­ated by the ad­min­is­tra­tion of former Repub­li­can pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush.

His de­ci­sion not to come was wel­comed by crit­ics out­raged by the US travel ban on Mus­lim-ma­jor­ity coun­tries, and more re­cently, Trump’s de­ci­sion to re-tweet anti-mus­lim videos posted by a Bri­tish far-right or­gan­i­sa­tion.

“Many Lon­don­ers have made it clear that Don­ald Trump is not wel­come here while he is pur­su­ing such a di­vi­sive AGENDA. It seems HE’S in­ally Got that mes­sage,” tweeted Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

The mayor, a mem­ber of the main op­po­si­tion Labour party, said there would have been “mass peace­ful protests,” and that it had been a “mis­take” to in­vite him.

There is likely some re­lief in the Bri­tish govern­ment at Trump’s de­ci­sion, which would have caused at the very least a ma­jor polic­ing op­er­a­tion.

Boris John­son

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