Donald Trump cancels UK visit: US president scraps trip over 'bad embassy deal' as he hits out at Barack Obama
US president Donald Trump has confirmed he will not travel to the UK to open the new American embassy next month, blaming the decision to relocate the building to an "off location".
Hitting out at former US leader Barack Obama, Mr Trump wrote on Twitter early on Friday that he thought the embassy's move from Grosvenor Square in the prestigious Mayfair district of central London to Nine Elms, south of the Thames, in a 1.2 billion dollar (£886 million) project was a "bad deal".
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!"
Prime Minister Theresa May was the first world leader to visit Mr Trump in the White House and the US president accepted at the time an invitation for a state visit.
But that idea was fairly swiftly pushed into the long grass, given the scale of expected protests and opposition within the UK. A petition against a state visit gained more than a million signatures last year.
Mr Trump was then reported to be considering a "working visit", with some publications reporting that a date had been set for the end of February. The visit was due to coincide with the opening of the new US embassy.
Writing on Twitter at 4.57am on Friday, Mr Trump said he thought the embassy's move from Grosvenor Square was a "bad deal".
Donald J. Trump✔@realDonaldTrump
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. Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!
Despite Mr Trump publicly blaming his predecessor Obama, the US announced its plans to move to the new embassy site in October 2008 - when George W Bush was in the White House. The new building will open on January 16.
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."
SOURCE : YAHOO NEWS