by J. Krishna Moorthi:
The new U.S. embassy in London opened with little fanfare on Tuesday after U.S. President Donald Trump refused to attend the inauguration because of its price tag and less than central location.
Embassy staff streamed past heavily armed police and a U.S. flag flapping in the icy breeze, as the new office opened for business.
Despite being ten years in the making, with a price tag of around $1 billion, the opening was an uninspired affair after President Trump was a no-show.
President Trump had been invited to cut the ribbon for the opening.
“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,” Trump wrote last week . “Bad deal. wanted me to cut-NO.”
The decision to move the embassy from the upmarket Mayfair District was made under former President George W. Bush, following the September 11, 2001 attacks and two 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya.
The new 12-story building in Nine Elms, south of the River Thames, comes complete with half-moon shaped moat, and is like a futuristic fortress.