Published: Thu, May 17, 2018

With friends like Trump, who needs enemies: European Union chief

With friends like Trump, who needs enemies: European Union chief

European Council President Donald Tusk derided US President Donald Trump over his administration's "capricious assertiveness" and called on the EU to unite on the Iran nuclear agreement and tariffs.

Tusk also said that Europe should be grateful for Mr. Trump "because thanks to him, we have got rid of all illusions". "We realise that if you need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of your arm".

European Council President Donald Tusk lashed out at the United States president, blasting his decision to pull out from the Iranian nuclear deal and stirring up trade disputes with other countries, and lamenting that one does not need enemies with friends like Trump.

Sofia, May 16 The European Union's top official launched a stinging attack today on President Donald Trump, slamming his "capricious assertiveness" and saying the USA leader acted more like an enemy than a friend.

The President of the European Council slammed the US President, warning Trump is a bad friends who acts with "capricious assertiveness".

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

US President Donald Trump has placed import duties of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminium on grounds of national security, but has temporarily exempted European Union producers until June 1, depending on the outcome of talks.

European ministers met with a top Iranian official in Brussels on Tuesday in a bid to save the Iranian nuclear accord after Trump made a decision to pull out.

"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".

Tusk said EU leaders would use the summit to discuss the Iran deal along with innovation, the European future for the western Balkans, and Trump's trade policies.

European leaders have scrambled to salvage the 2015 agreement in which Iran agreed to halt its nuclear program, a landmark deal that many Europeans see as essential for their security.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has strongly backed efforts to develop a collective European approach towards Trump's unilateralism, but she told the lower house Bundestag on Wednesday she remained determined to support trans-Atlantic relations.

Tusk's comments come amid increasingly souring relations between the European Union and US, over trade disagreements, the Iran nuclear deal, and the US Embassy's relocation to Jerusalem.

Theresa May will travel to the Bulgarian capital where she will join a working dinner with her fellow European leaders, including European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

"My objective is simple - we stick to our guns", Tusk said of the expected leaders' discussion on trade.

"We have enough potential to rise to the challenge, but what we need is more political unity and determination".

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