SOFIA: The European Union’s high official launched a stinging assault Wednesday on President Donald Trump, slamming his “capricious assertiveness” and saying the US chief acted extra like an enemy than a buddy.
EU president Donald Tusk urged leaders assembly in Bulgaria to type a “united European front” in opposition to Trump´s withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal and his transfer to impose commerce tariffs on Europe.
Tusk even in contrast the US administration to Europe´s conventional foes Moscow and Beijing as he launched his broadside earlier than a dinner of the 28 leaders in Sofia the place they mentioned the problem.
“Looking at the latest decisions of President Trump, someone could even think with friends like that, who needs enemies,” Tusk advised reporters.
“But frankly speaking, Europe should be grateful to President Trump, because thanks to him we have got rid of all illusions. He has made us realise that if you need a helping hand you will find one at the end of your arm.”
The transatlantic rift has hijacked the agenda of a summit on Thursday at which the EU leaders will meet their Balkan counterparts in a bid to foster nearer ties and hold Russia out of their yard.
European ministers met a high Iranian official in Brussels on Tuesday in a bid to avoid wasting the Iranian nuclear accord after Trump determined to tug out. Meanwhile the EU continues to be attempting to win exemptions from tariffs on metal and aluminium exports.
Tusk referred to as for extra unity within the divided EU — which is about to lose Britain as a member subsequent yr — to face the rising challenges.
“Besides the traditional political challenges such as the rise of China or the aggressive stance of Russia, we are witnessing today a new phenomenon: the capricious assertiveness of the American administration,” Tusk mentioned.
“I have no doubt that in the new global game, Europe will either be one of the major players, or a pawn. This is the only real alternative.”
After the talks, a European supply advised AFP the leaders agreed on a “united EU approach” on the Iran deal, together with continued help for the settlement if Tehran abides by it.
They additionally agreed to “initiate work to protect European companies negatively affected by the US decision,” which entails Washington reimposing sanctions on the Iranian nuclear programme.
“The EU will continue fighting for a rules-based international system despite recent decisions on climate change, tariffs and Iran,” the supply mentioned after the leaders met over dinner in Sofia.
British Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron — whose nations are the signatories to the Iran deal together with the US, Russia and China, gave their views on the scenario to their colleagues, he mentioned.
Merkel nevertheless mentioned earlier that Europe had no alternative however to stay with the ties which have certain it to Washington since World War II.
“Despite all the difficulties we have these days, the transatlantic relations are and will remain of outstanding importance,” Merkel advised the German parliament.
‘Gun at its head’
On Trump´s resolution to impose tariffs on metal and aluminium imports, a transfer the EU has warned might spark a commerce warfare, the leaders additionally offered a united entrance.
They backed plans to supply concessions if the US provides Europe a everlasting exemption from the tariffs, however added that the “EU will not negotiate with a gun at its head”.
Tusk mentioned earlier that it was “absurd to even think that the EU could be a threat to the US” when it comes to commerce.
Behind their message of unity and firmness, some member states appear open to tolerating restricted quotas from the United States on metals imports whereas others desire a more durable line, diplomats mentioned.
The EU leaders have been additionally as a result of talk about the deaths of dozens of Palestinians in Gaza after Trump moved the US embassy to Jerusalem, in one other transfer that the Europeans had strongly opposed, however there have been no particulars on that dialogue.
The EU has referred to as for “utmost restraint” after Israeli forces killed 60 Palestinians throughout protests alongside the Gaza border in opposition to the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem, within the battle´s bloodiest day in years.
But there are divisions over the embassy transfer inside the EU itself, with the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania having not too long ago blocked an EU assertion slamming the US resolution.
Wednesday´s dinner can be adopted by a summit on Thursday the place EU leaders will meet their counterparts from the Balkan nations of Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia and Serbia.