EU's Tusk slams 'capricious' Trump

Larry Hoffman
May 17, 2018

The threat posed by Donald Trump's administration has been likened to that of China and Russian Federation by Donald Tusk as he condemned the US's withdrawal from the Iran deal and threat of a transatlantic trade war.

Tusk pointed to some of Trump's latest decisions before concluding, "someone could even think with friends like that, who needs enemies". Despite Trump slamming it as a "terrible deal" before and after taking office, his European counterparts lobbied him not to leave the agreement.

"I want leaders to reconfirm that the European Union sticks to the deal as long as Iran does", Tusk said.

He has made us realize that if you need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of your arm.

"Besides 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 USA administration", Tusk said.

Underlining the depth of trans-Atlantic discord, the chairman of European Union leaders Donald Tusk said Trump had "rid Europe of all illusions" by withdrawing from the Iran accord and driving trade disputes. "We realize that if you need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of your arm", Tusk said in Sofia, also posting the comments in a Tweet tagging the United States president.

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.

The break with the USA over the Iran deal is just the latest in a series of major breaches in the transatlantic relationship.

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.

The French firm signed a deal with Tehran in July 2017 to develop phase 11 of Iran's South Pars field, marking the first major Western energy investment in the long isolated country since the lifting of sanctions.

"But frankly speaking, Europe should be grateful to President Trump".

But the 28 EU leaders did not make any quick decisions during their first meeting on the matter since Trump quit the accord earlier this month, highlighting how US clout in worldwide trade and finance limits the Europeans' scope for action. "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.

Trump's decision to relocate the USA embassy to the contested city of Jerusalem will also be raised.

"We knew that there was a great risk, that this decision to move moving the embassy would bring less security, bring tragedies, and sadly we were right", he said.

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