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European Union chief on Trump: "With friends like that, who needs enemies?"

17 May, 2018, 01:10 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • With friends like Donald Trump, who needs enemies: European Union chief

European Council President Donald Tusk called here on Wednesday for a united European front against the United States withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal. But Europeans are increasingly exasperated by the way Trump is steering USA policy, objecting not only to his stances but also to what they say is erratic policymaking that switches on the whim of Fox News programmers.

European leaders will gather in Sofia to mainly discuss the EU's commitment towards enlargement talks focused around Western Balkan regions, but the US President's actions have seemingly hijacked the agenda.

Tusk pointed to some of Trump's latest decisions before concluding, "someone could even think with friends like that, who needs enemies".

The 28 leaders will also discuss the deaths of dozens of Palestinians in Gaza after Trump moved the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, in another move that the Europeans had strongly opposed.

Tusk said that at the May 16 dinner, "I will propose we stick to our guns". "That means permanent exemptions from US tariffs on aluminium and steel".

It was crucial, he said, that the European Union stuck to its guns and refused to talk trade with the USA until it received a permanent exemption from punitive tariffs on steel and aluminium imposed by Washington on the grounds of national security. The EU and U.S. are friends and partners, therefore USA tariffs can not be justified on the basis of national security'. It is absurd to even think that Europe could be a threat to the United States. "But we need to be sure that we have done everything in our power, and within the limits of the worldwide trade rules, to avoid a negative scenario", Tusk said.

European Union chief on Trump:

After listing more of their proposals, Nigel finished: "So the whole European project is crumbling, the third biggest country in the eurozone is in open revolt against the whole system and all Donald Tusk can do is say a few sad words about Donald Trump". But at the news conference in Sofia, he was clearly not in any joking mood.

Speaking at a Western Balkans summit in Sofia, Bulgaria on Wednesday, Tusk didn't hold back in his assessment of the USA, saying European Union members should unite to face "a new phenomenon - the capricious assertiveness of the American administration".

Tusk also said that Europe should be grateful for Mr. Trump "because thanks to him, we have got rid of all illusions". In order to be the subject and not the object of global politics, Europe must be united economically, politically and also militarily like never before.

Speaking to reporters in Sofia, Mr Tusk said the US President had "made us realise that if you need a helping hand, you all find one at the end of your arm".

"I have no doubt that in the new global game", Tusk said, "Europe will either be one of the major players or will be a pawn".

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