NEWS

12.01.2018 | Trump cancels UK visit in major diplomatic snub to Theresa May after public row
Source - The Daily Express

The working visit to open the new US embassy was expected to be made by the US President after plans for a full state visit were postponed. However, Trump has decided not to attend the event, sending Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in his place, in a major diplomatic snub to the UK. The move is likely to frustrate Theresa May who insisted just days ago that “he will be coming to this country” during a TV interview. Defending the US President on BBC’s Andrew Marr she added: “What I see is somebody who is committed to ensuring he is taking decisions in the best interests of the United States.” However, despite the visit being publicly supported by the Prime Minister, Trump is said to have been concerned about the prospect of mass protests against his visit. A number of MPs had also pledged to “empty chair” Trump if he addressed the Houses of Parliament during a visit. They blamed the US President's views on women, torture and refugees for their plans to boycott the event. Another factor believed to be responsible for Trump deciding to skip the embassy opening is the declining personal relationship between himself and Mrs May. After the Prime Minister criticised Trump for sharing far-Right videos without verifying the claims contained in the footage, he hit back attacking her directly on Twitter. Trump tweeted: “Theresa May, don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine.” Downing Street also vocal expressed their opposition to the US’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Mrs May said: "We disagree with the US decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem and recognise Jerusalem as the Israeli capital before a final status agreement. "We believe it is unhelpful in terms of prospects for peace in the region. The British Embassy to Israel is based in Tel Aviv and we have no plans to move it.” The visit next month was not due to be given the full protocol of a state visit, which was expected to take place at a later date. Downgraded to a working visit, Trump would not be given the hour of meeting a Queen. The fact that the trip would not include royal involvement is said to be another factor contributing to the US President deciding to skip the UK visit. Downing Street gave refused to comment on the matter but have insisted that the invitation of a full state visit still exists. A spokesman said: “An invitation for a state visit has been extended and accepted.” Responding to the reports, the US President has denied that a rocky relationship with the Prime Minister and the fear of protests were responsible for him not attending. Instead, he said he is refusing to attend in protest at the Obama administration's decision to move the embassy. On Twitter, he said: "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 the ribbon - NO!”


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