Search This Blog

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Donald Trump cancels trip to London ~ the new building for US embassy

US President Donald Trump today,  cancelled a trip to the UK to open the new US embassy on the grounds that it was a “bad deal” concluded by the Obama administration.  .. .. that obviously attracted lot of media attention, with Britain trying to project that none in Britain wanted him to come.  One will understand the truth based on whichever version one gets to read !   ..  Chennaites would know the surging crowds that stand in front of the US embassy near Gemini bridge every day waiting to get visas. Also we would never understand why fringe parties would paste posters and conduct some demonstration nearer the Embassy [though permission is denied mostly ~ some had always violated such permissions] – would it in any manner reach the US administration – would the shouts ‘imperialism down, down !’ would ever be heard in US – and have some effect ??

US Consulate is an all important building ~ a diplomatic mission  is  an organisation present in another country  facilitating  visas and many many other documentary and other processes..  The  embassy, which is the main office of a country's diplomatic representatives in the capital city of another country, whereas consulates are smaller diplomatic missions which are normally located outside the capital of the receiving state.  Though believed to be so, not all diplomatic missions  enjoy full extraterritorial status and in those cases are not sovereign territory of the represented state.  However, most major countries do enjoy that right and are afforded special privileges (such as immunity from most local laws) by the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Diplomats themselves still retain full diplomatic immunity, and (as an adherent to the Vienna Convention) the host country may not enter the premises of the mission without permission of the represented country, even to put out a fire.  Thus sometimes, people do take political asylums in diplomatic missions !

Trump is in news for altogether different reasons ~ the much commented man’s cancelled trip to London  is the news !!  ~ it is all about a building which was never owned by United States but it had control -  a 999-year leasehold, but the freehold is owned by Grosvenor Estates.  BBC reports that the  decision to move away from the Grade II listed building to Nine Elms was taken by the George W Bush administration in October 2008, shortly before he left office. The state department said it would begin construction on a new site in Nine Elms and the existing embassy was put up for sale immediately. It said it considered renovating the existing building but said the goal of moving to a secure, modern and environmentally sustainable site could best be met by moving.

There were reports of Donald Trump blaming Obama's 'bad deal' for cancelling his trip to Britain ~ the US  President pulls out of US embassy opening because old site was 'sold for peanuts.' US President was expected to make his first trip to the UK since entering office but that has turned damp-squib or rather has triggered a huge political row in UK. 

The US President condemned his predecessor Barack Obama  tweeting shortly before midnight in Washington to criticise the move to an 'off location' at Nine Elms, south of the River Thames, as a 'bad deal'. The tweet to his 47million followers sparked an overwhelming social media backlash.  Meanwhile, as questions were raised over whether it was a 'bad deal', property experts said the US may have 'sold the family silver' - but sold high and bought low. Mr Trump tweeted overnight that he was '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 $1.2billion'

At a cost of £750million ($1billion), the new embassy near Battersea is significantly more expensive than the £315million ($431million) the Mayfair site was sold for, as revealed by Land Registry documents today.  And some media experts pointed out that Mr Trump wrongly blamed Barack Obama for the embassy sale, when George W. Bush was actually in the White House at the time in 2008. 

London Mayor, who has clashed with the US President in the past, said a visit by Mr Trump would have been met by 'mass peaceful protests'. Donald Trump was ridiculed by the people of Battersea today after saying the US embassy was moving to an 'off location'. Mr Trump's dismissal of Vauxhall was also questioned by David Hatcher, of Estates Gazette, who described it as 'a prime central London location'. 'At pre sent to some it might look like a load of cranes and construction sites with not going on around them,' he said. 'However, Vauxhall's star has undoubtedly risen and Apple's decision to locate its giant new headquarters at the iconic Battersea Power Station is perhaps the ultimate rubber stamp of approval that shows it is establishing itself as a prime central London location.  Given its long-established history as an area rich with nightlife with ever more techhie types with plenty of disposable income set to move, as well as those that have bought pricey flats, it will likely only become more appealing as time goes.' Situated in the London Borough of Wandsworth, Battersea boasts many attractions, including its iconic power station, which first started operating in 1933, when it was only half-built. It is also home to the capital's only licensed heliport on the south bank, as well as a family-run zoo designed specially for children in Battersea Park. Its Peace Pagoda - which offers panoramic views of Chelsea Embankment - was presented by Buddhist monk Nichidatsu Fuji in 1984 as part of a Japanese movement to promote peace across the globe following the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

And Nine Elms, where the embassy is located, is home to the New Covent Garden Market. The biggest wholesale flower, fruit and vegetable market in the UK, it spans 57 acres and is used by 200 firms.  His visit next month would without doubt have been met by mass peaceful protests.  MailOnline and other British media feels that this  just reinforces what a mistake it was for Theresa May to rush and extend an invitation of a state visit in the first place.

Standing in London's Grosvenor Square, in the heart of Mayfair, itself the wealthiest part of the city, the old embassy was bought by Qatari Diar – the property development arm of the Qatari royal family – in 2013. The Qataris will now spend $1.4bn (£1.08bn) to refurbish the building and turn it into a five-star Rosewood hotel with 137 bedrooms.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

12th Jan 2018.

No comments:

Post a Comment