Saturday, 17 November, 2018

EU Official Takes Donald Trump to Task: 'With Friends Like That' …

EU Official Takes Donald Trump to Task: 'With Friends Like That' … EU Official Takes Donald Trump to Task: 'With Friends Like That' …
Lora Ball | 17 May, 2018, 14:39

Underlining the depth of trans-Atlantic discord, the chairman of European Union leaders Donald Tusk said Trump had "rid Europe of all illusions" by withdrawing from the Iran accord and driving trade disputes.

Tusk's words came as the European Union heads of state meet in the Bulgarian capital Sofia on Wednesday and Thursday to explore options to keep the Iran nuclear deal afloat and respond to possible U.S. tariffs on aluminum and steel.

The contrast has stirred up even more European anger toward Trump's foreign policy, and the Gaza violence is another mark on the agenda for European leaders to discuss during their day and a half of meetings that starts Wednesday.

The bloc's leaders will hope to present a united front against Mr Trump in response to his decision on the Iran nuclear deal and trade tariffs.

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

European leaders will seek to agree a common stance on Wednesday towards threatened United States import tariffs on steel and aluminium, balancing the views of those most fearful of a trade war and those determined not to be bullied into concessions.

"Looking at the latest decisions of President Trump, someone could even think 'with friends like that, who needs enemies?' But frankly speaking, Europe should be grateful by President Trump, because thanks to him we have got rid of all illusions".

The EU will continue to support the Iran deal "as long as Iran respects the deal" but will address U.S. concerns over Iran's role in the Middle East crisis and its ballistic missile programme.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte called the decision of United States president Donald "clumsy".

EU Official Takes Donald Trump to Task: 'With Friends Like That' …

Merkel however said earlier that Europe had no choice but to stick with the ties that have bound it to Washington since World War II.

"The question is whether you can talk better if you terminate an agreement or if you stay in it. we say you can talk better if you remain in it", she told the Bundestag, the lower house of parliament.

The EU's top energy and climate official, Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete, is heading to Iran on May 18-21 for talks on energy cooperation, a symbolic gesture from the EU that it wants to stay engaged despite the US withdrawal. "It is absurd to even think that the European Union could be a threat to the United States", he continued.

'We will decide on the best way forward in EU-US trade relations.

Iran said the new US sanctions were an attempt to derail efforts to save the nuclear deal.

Behind their message of unity and firmness, some member states seem open to tolerating limited quotas from the United States on metals imports while others want a harder line, diplomats said. This decision led to clashes between Palestinians and Israeli military in the Gaza strip, during which killed 59 people, reminiscent of "Bagnet".

Mr. Trump's decision last week to abandon the Iran nuclear deal - negotiated by Iran and the United States, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russian Federation - left Europe scrambling to preserve the agreement.

"The EU and U.S. are friends and partners".

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