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EU's Tusk asks: 'With friends like Trump, who needs enemies?'
17 May 2018, 12:47 | Bernice Figueroa
Tusk even compared the US administration to Europe’s traditional foes Moscow and Beijing
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. Because thanks to him we have got rid of all illusions. "He has made us realize if you need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of your arm".
Washington and Brussels have been at loggerheads over a number of issues since Mr Trump was inaugurated in January 2017, most recently a trade war of aluminium and steel tariffs and the Iran nuclear deal.
The U.S. move has paved the way for U.S. sanctions that are likely to hit European companies doing business with Iran.The options being discussed include new credit lines for Iran, increased energy cooperation and the use of EU laws to block European companies from caving in to U.S. sanctions.
Earlier this month, US President Donald Trump announced that his country would exit the 2015 nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and reinstate the previously lifted sanctions on Iran.
On Trump's decision to impose tariffs on European and Chinese steel and aluminum, a move the EU has warned could spark a trade war, Tusk urged the leaders to keep a unified front. This is the only real alternative.
Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, meanwhile said Wednesday that meetings with European Union leaders on salvaging the nuclear deal sent a strong political message but must now be turned into action. To the dismay of European Union leaders, Trump also pulled out of the Paris climate accords, moved the USA embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, and imposed unilateral tariffs on steel against some trading partners.
"Despite all the difficulties we have these days, the transatlantic relations are and will remain of outstanding importance", Merkel told the German parliament.
Leaders are gathers to explore options to keep the Iran nuclear deal afloat after US President Donald Trump chose to withdraw from the deal and reimpose sanctions on Iran. The letter appeared to confirm fears that pulling out of the Iran deal, which was strongly supported by European leaders like French president Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, could cause a rift in the relationship between the United States and long-standing allies. And my objective is simple: we stick to our guns, ' stated Tusk. It is absurd to even think that Europe could be a threat to the United States.
"We have enough potential to rise to the challenge, but what we need is more political unity and determination".
The EU has called for "utmost restraint" after Israeli forces killed 60 Palestinians during clashes and protests along the Gaza border against the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, the conflict's bloodiest day in years.
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