Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Global | By Marsha Munoz

'With Friends Like That, Who Needs Enemies?'

'With Friends Like That, Who Needs Enemies?'

"Besides the traditional political challenges such as the rise of China or the aggressive stance of Russian Federation, we are witnessing today a new phenomenon: the capricious assertiveness of the American administration", Tusk said.

"Looking at the latest decisions of Trump, someone could even think: With friends like that, who needs enemies?". "He has made us realise that if you need a helping hand you will find one at the end of your arm", the European Council president added.

The senior official said that European Union should be grateful to Trump as he helped the bloc get rid of its illusions.

European Council President Donald Tusk slammed U.S. President Donald Trump for pulling out of the Iran nuclear accord and threatening the EU with tariffs on steel and aluminum in by far the harshest rebuke yet by Brussels of the unpredictable America leader.

The 28 anxious EU leaders are gathering in the Bulgarian capital for discussions on how to salvage the nuclear deal and European business dealings with Iran from Trump's sanctions.

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Bulgaria, now holder of the rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU, is hosting the informal working dinner of EU leaders on the eve of the May 17 EU-Western Balkans summit in Sofia.

Trade tensions have been growing since March 23, when Donald Trump ordered to introduce a 25% tariff on steel imports and 10% tax on aluminum, claiming to protect the United States producers from unfair competition and boost national security.

"Besides the traditional political challenges such as the rise of China or the aggressive stance of Russian Federation, we are witnessing today a new phenomenon: the capricious assertiveness of the American administration", Tusk said. "This is the only real alternative".

British Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron will "present their assessment of the situation" to their colleagues, he said.

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.

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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. Leaders of all three countries pressed Trump to reconsider his decision.

Tusk said that at the May 16 dinner, "I will propose we stick to our guns".

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.

"But we need to be sure that we have done everything in our power, and within the limits of the global trade rules, to avoid a negative scenario", Tusk said. "It is absurd to even think that the European Union could be a threat to the United States", he continued.

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