Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

US Embassy in London blasted by Trump is a 'fortress' with moat

US Embassy in London blasted by Trump is a 'fortress' with moat

Mr Trump said he was cancelling the forthcoming trip because his predecessor Barack Obama sold the old Grosvenor Square embassy for "peanuts" and built the new one in an "off location".

In reality, the decision to move current USA embassy in Grosvenor Square, to Nine Elms was made by former President George W. Bush in 2008.

The decision to acquire a new site for the U.S. embassy on the south bank of the Thames was announced in 2008 under George W Bush, along with the plans to put the Grosvenor Square site in upscale Mayfair up for sale.

Associated Press reporter Matt Lee wrote Trump's account regarding the Obama administration was not true, saying the decision to move the embassy was made in 2008 when George W. Bush was in office.

Mr Khan, who also questioned Mr Trump's proposed United States travel ban, said the U.S. president's visit would "without doubt have been met by mass peaceful protests".

"Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!" the USA president added.

A petition to stop Trump - who is deeply unpopular in Britain - from making an official state visit garnered over 1.8 million signatures a year ago amid a backlash over his controversial travel ban, CNN reported.

Trump's decision to abandon a visit altogether represents something of a victory for Khan, who has been feuding publicly with Trump since 2015.

He outlined what a good deal the new embassy was and said the new embassy was representative of a stronger and better U.S. -U.K. relationship.

However he has now cancelled the trip as he was unhappy about the sale of the former embassy "for peanuts" by the Obama administration.

During the Queen's Speech at the State Opening of Parliament last summer, there was no mention of a visit - although a Downing Street spokesman said an invitation had been "extended and accepted".

Downing Street later said the "strong and deep" partnership between Britain and the U.S. "will endure".

The current embassy's location in a busy square makes it hard to secure, and attempts to do so weren't popular with the neighbors.

Some local residents had 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 one billion-dollar-edifice, overlooking the River Thames, was wholly funded by the sale of other properties in London. The new building is walking distance from London's MI6 foreign intelligence headquarters.

However, Tory MP Tom Tugendhat, Chairman of the Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee, told Radio 4 that Mr. Trump's decision has nothing to do with the UK's relationship with the U.S.

"Let's hope that Donald Trump also revisits the pursuit of his divisive agenda". The old site was sold in 2009 and ground was broken at the new location in 2013.

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

He also said the move from central London to out of town meant the new embassy was in an "off-location".

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