The British government has said that the invitation for US President’s state visit was still in place, despite public and political protest.
Prime Minister Theresa May formally rejected an online petition calling for Donald Trump to be barred from making state visit to the UK and said she looks forward to welcoming him to the country later this year after discussing his visit on the phone.
More than 1.8 million people had signed the petition urging the government to withdraw the invitation that Theresa May extended to Donald Trump during her visit to Washington in January.
Press TV reports
The petition, which is expected to be put to debate in Parliament, called for Trump to be allowed to enter the UK but not be granted an official state visit because of fears it would cause embarrassment to Queen Elizabeth.
In a statement sent to petition signatories, the Foreign Office said the government “recognized the strong views … but does not support this petition.”
It also said that the US president should be granted the “full courtesy” of a state visit to the UK and that preparations would continue.
“This invitation reflects the importance of the relationship between the United States of America and the United Kingdom. At this stage, final dates have not yet been agreed for the state visit.”
State visits by foreign leaders typically include an address to Parliament.
However, the speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, has said he would refuse permission for Trump to address the chamber, citing “opposition to racism and sexism.”
British MPs will hold a non-binding debate on the petition Monday.
Officials are also seeking to limit Trump’s public exposure during the visit in order to reduce the opportunities for protest.
Thousands of people have already demonstrated against Trump’s state visit.
The campaign to halt the visit gained momentum after Trump signed his now-blocked executive order, closing the nation’s doors to citizens of seven Muslim countries.
A counter petition calling for the state visit to go ahead has attracted more than 309,000 signatures.