- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The British government has formally rejected a petition signed by nearly 2 million people asking officials to block U.S. President Trump from making a state visit to the country.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office explained in a statement posted Tuesday on the petition’s web page that it “recognizes the strong views expressed by the many signatories of this petition, but does not support this petition.”

“During her visit to the United States on 27 January 2017, the Prime Minister, on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen, invited President Trump for a State Visit to the UK later this year,” the statement read. “The invitation was accepted. This invitation reflects the importance of the relationship between the United States of America and the United Kingdom.

“[Her Majesty’s Government] believes the President of the United States should be extended the full courtesy of a State Visit,” it said. “We look forward to welcoming President Trump once dates and arrangements are finalised.”

The petition asking the government to downgrade Mr. Trump’s trip from an official state visit was launched before the president announced his controversial travel ban, but it went viral after news of the order emerged, ABC News reported.

Donald Trump should be allowed to enter the UK in his capacity as head of the US Government, but he should not be invited to make an official State Visit because it would cause embarrassment to Her Majesty the Queen,” the petition read. “Donald Trump’s well documented misogyny and vulgarity disqualifies him from being received by Her Majesty the Queen or the Prince of Wales. Therefore during the term of his presidency Donald Trump should not be invited to the United Kingdom for an official State Visit.”

The petition garnered more than 1.8 million signatures, easily surpassing the 100,000 needed for it to be debated in Parliament. MPs are expected to debate the petition in the House of Commons on Monday, as well as a counter-petition supporting Mr. Trump’s visit that’s garnered more than 300,000 signatures.

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