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Donald Trump arrives for contentious UK visit

By Cecily Liu | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-07-12 20:58
US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrive aboard Air Force One, for their first official visit to Britain, at Stansted Airport, Britain, July 12, 2018. [Photo/Agencies]

Large protests expected across the country

US President Donald Trump arrived in the UK on Thursday afternoon for a four-day working visit, which will feature talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May and tea with the Queen.

Trump arrived from Brussels, where he had spent two days at the NATO summit. He will stay in the UK until Sunday evening, when he will head to Helsinki for a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Trump’s arrival coincided with the British government’s publication of the highly-anticipated Brexit Whitepaper, which caused heated debate in the British Parliament.

May said Trump’s visit would be an opportunity to boost trade links and strengthen co-operation on security. The leaders are also likely to talk about topics including Brexit and the Middle East.

Thousands of people are expected to protest against Trump in London on Thursday and Friday. Smaller demonstrations are also expected in other UK cities, including Dundee, Edinburgh, Belfast, Norwich, Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool.

The Guardian newspaper said police costs for the trip would likely hit $16 million, with 4,000 additional officers, many working 12-hour days, drafted into areas Trump will visit.

“Many people object strongly to his policies on immigration and the treatment of immigrant families and deplore his tweets about women and developing countries,” said Alan Barrell, a professor and entrepreneur-in-residence at the University of Cambridge.

Trump is the 12th sitting US president to make a UK visit. This week’s visit is his first since winning the 2016 presidential election.

On Thursday evening Trump and his wife, Melania will attend a formal dinner hosted by May at Blenheim Palace, birthplace of Winston Churchill.

May and Trump are expected at a joint counter-terrorism exercise on Friday, featuring special forces from Britain and the US. He will then travel to the prime minister’s rural retreat, Chequers, for a working lunch. Trump was expected to meet the Queen for tea at Windsor Castle on Friday, before flying up to Scotland to visit his Turnberry golf resort.

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