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Trump to make first state visit to UK in June

April 23, 2019 19:45 IST

United States President Donald Trump will make his first state visit to the United Kingdom between June 3 and 5, Buckingham Palace announced on Tuesday, more than two years after an invitation was first extended.

IMAGE: US President Trump and US First Lady Melania Trump will be welcomed as guests of Queen Elizabeth II during a three-day visit to the UK. Photograph: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

US President Trump and US First Lady Melania Trump will be welcomed as guests of Queen Elizabeth II during a three-day visit to the UK.

While details of the engagements during the official visit will be unveiled over time, Downing Street said the US president will hold discussions with British Prime Minister Theresa May during the tour.

 

"The President of the United States of America, President Donald J Trump, accompanied by Melania Trump, has accepted an invitation from Her Majesty The Queen to pay a state visit to the United Kingdom from Monday 3 June to Wednesday 5 June 2019," Buckingham Palace said in a statement.

"President Trump and Mrs Trump previously joined The Queen for tea at Windsor Castle in July 2018," the statement noted.

The confirmation comes amid much speculation around a formal US state visit to the UK, with Trump's visit last year scaled down to a working tour as thousands marched through London to register their protest against the divisive leader being invited to the UK.

"The state visit is an opportunity to strengthen our already close relationship in areas such as trade, investment, security and defence, and to discuss how we can build on these ties in the years ahead," said Theresa May.

"The UK and the United States have a deep and enduring partnership that is rooted in our common history and shared interests. We do more together than any two nations in the world and we are both safer and more prosperous because of our cooperation," she noted.

State visits are formal tours for heads of state involving considerable pomp and ceremony as well as exclusive events hosted by the Queen.

A procession down the Mall to Buckingham Palace in a golden carriage and a banquet for 150 people hosted by the monarch are among the highlights of any state visit. The invitation was extended by May when she became the first overseas leader to visit Trump in the White House after his inauguration as US President in January 2016.

The Palace said the Queen, who celebrated her 93rd birthday last week, has hosted two previous state visits from presidents of the United States -- president George W Bush and Laura Bush in November 2003 and president Barack Obama and Michelle Obama in May 2011. The British monarch and her husband, Prince Philip, have also made four state visits to the US over the years.

The prospect of Trump being welcomed with such grandeur is likely to attract much criticism in the UK, with some British MPs already expressing their displeasure over the news.

"Deluded, dishonest, xenophobic, narcissistic, Donald Trump is no friend of Britain. He is not fit to hold public office, let alone worthy of our country's highest honours and a banquet with the Queen. May is selling out the UK to a serial liar and a cheat," said Labour Party MP David Lammy on Twitter.

Others called for anti-Trump campaigns in the UK of the past to be revived in time for the visit.

A June timeline had been widely expected once White House said the US president would be visiting France to take part in the 75th anniversary of the World War II D-day landings of the Allied Forces on June 6.

"On June 5 the UK will host a major international event in Portsmouth to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day and commemorate this critical moment in the Second World War. Countries that fought alongside the United Kingdom in the historic military operation, as well as Germany, have been invited to attend," Downing Street said, in reference to the US president's UK visit.

On June 6, the British PM will travel to Normandy in France to join Trump and other world leaders to attend a number of commemorative events, including the inauguration of the British Normandy memorial in Ver-Sur-Mer.

"D-Day was an unparalleled international military operation and a turning point in the Second World War. The freedom we have today would not be possible without the incredible sacrifice of troops from across the world 75 years ago," May said.

The D-Day Landings in Normandy on June 6, 1944, are commemorated as a decisive victory against Nazi Germany as it marked the liberation of German occupied France and later Europe. Nations that took part in Operation Overlord and the D-Day Landings alongside the UK have been invited to attend the event in Portsmouth on June 5.

This includes the US, Canada, France, Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, Luxembourg, Poland, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Greece, and Slovakia and the Czech Republic (formerly Czechoslovakia). Germany has also been invited in keeping with previous D-Day commemorative events. 

Aditi Khanna
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