US Ambassador Robert "Woody" Johnson, who opened the new building of the US embassy, hopes President Donald Trump will officially dedicate it when he visits London. He has accepted an invitation of a state visit, but the date is yet to be finalized because of threats of possible protests.

Sky New reports that renovation of the earlier premises would have been an expensive affair and it has been sold off for conversion to a hotel. The new location is on the banks of the River Thames and the building is shaped like a cube with a pond and solar panels. It will be operative from January 2018 and house diplomats and a contingent of US Marines.

The new look embassy

The design of the new US Embassy in London is unique. The absence of any perimeter fence is unique in itself. Instead of the fencing, there are public benches to provide access to the banks of the River Thames. Another aspect is the pond which replaces the moat. The purpose of this is to prevent unauthorized persons from getting too close to the building.

The new building is a massive affair. It is double the size of the previous offices and extends to 12 stories with a garden on each floor. The theme of the gardens is of a different landscape in America. Other features of the building are its inbuilt latest security gadgets like a Faraday cage that prevents electronic eavesdropping.

Moreover, the walls are triple-glazed and blast-proof to ensure a superior quality of security.

It remains to be seen when President Donald Trump goes to London and dedicates it officially.

Fears of protests remain

On the subject of probable protests during the visit of President Donald Trump to the UK, the Ambassador explained that in large cities like London, as well as in the United States, the freedom of speech grants people the right to voice their opinion.

Therefore, protests are a natural part of life and one has to live with them.

It may be recalled that there was a war of words between London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Donald Trump over the London Bridge terror attack in June 2017 in which a vehicle mowed down innocent people. Seven of them lost their lives and 48 were injured.

The tweets between Khan and Trump escalated tension. Subsequently, an online petition of nearly one million signatures urged the authorities to cancel the invitation for a state visit. It also threatened widespread protests in case he did come. Hence it was put on hold, and the question now is – will it finally take place and will Donald Trump arrive to dedicate the new US Embassy?

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