`With Friends Like That:' EU's Tusk Blasts Trump's Europe Stance

`With Friends Like That:' EU's Tusk Blasts Trump's Europe Stance

`With Friends Like That:' EU's Tusk Blasts Trump's Europe Stance

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. "Thanks to him we got rid of all illusions".

The EU's 28 leaders are due to discuss two challenges that Trump has confronted them with: his decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal, and the USA threat to impose tariffs on metal imports.

Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris climate change accord and the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran threaten Europe's own foreign policy, which was long complementary to Washington's.

"Looking at the latest decisions of President Trump, some could even think: 'With friends like that, who needs enemies?"' Tusk told reporters on Wednesday before a summit of European Union leaders in the Bulgarian capital, Sofia.

In a scathing attack, former Polish prime minister Tusk compared the Trump administration with Europe's long-time adversaries, Moscow and Beijing.

In his letter, Tusk also warned against the USA negotiating new trade tariffs on steel and aluminum, saying that the European Union would "stick to its guns" on keeping deals current.

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Speaking to reporters in Sofia, Mr Tusk said the US President had "made us realise that if you need a helping hand, you all find one at the end of your arm".

With Trump's cabinet being increasingly populated by the likes of National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who have long pushed for regime change in Iran, the USA position is becoming more at odds with those of Europe, Russia, and China.

He called on EU leaders "to reconfirm that the EU sticks to the deal as long as Iran does", underlining that "the deal is good for European and global security". "Europe must do everything in its power to protect, in spite of today's mood, the Trans-Atlantic bond", he said.

But the EU's hopes have been complicated by the fact that European companies would also be exposed to United States sanctions imposed on anyone doing business in Iran.

Tusk's remarks, just hours before he was to chair a meeting in Bulgaria of the 28 leaders of the world's biggest trading bloc, underscored the widening gulf in EU-U.S. relations.

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 USA sanctions. Therefore US tariffs can not be justified on the basis of national security.

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