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.
In a striking rhetorical assault on the leader of Europe's biggest ally, EU Council President Donald Tusk said, given Trump's recent decisions, "someone could even think 'with friends like that, who needs enemies?'".
"But, frankly speaking, Europe should be grateful by President Trump because thanks to him we have got rid of old illusions. He has made us realise that if you need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of your arm".More news: Macy's Inc | $ Stock | Shares Surge On Q1 Earnings Beat & High Guidance
With member states yet to agree on how to handle the challenges, Mr Tusk called on leaders gathering in the Bulgarian capital, Sofia, to unite behind the tough line being taken by key European actors in response to the White House's actions. Tensions came to a head with the US president's decision announced last week to pull out of the landmark Iran nuclear accord which the remaining signatories-Russia, China, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, along with the EU-say is working and they will strive to keep in place. Trump also warned his European allies he would impose stiff sanctions on EU companies who either do business in Iran or who opt to honour legally binding business contracts with Iranian companies.
Tusk also demanded that Trump grant a permanent exemption to the European Union from threatened tariffs on steel and aluminum, and he rejected as "absurd" any assertion by the that such tariffs could be justified on national security grounds. In order to be the subject and not the object of global politics, Europe must be united economically, politically and also militarily like never before.
Tusk added that Europe must protect the "transatlantic bond", but be prepared to act on its own, with "more political unity and determination".More news: Missing CWG athletes resurface, want asylum in Australia
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 US sanctions.
Some countries sent representatives to the U.S. Jerusalem embassy opening on Monday and the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania blocked an European Union effort to publish a statement critical of the U.S. move.
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.More news: Lachlan Murdoch to be Chairman/CEO at 'New Fox'
"Juncker and [Foreign Affairs chief Federica] Mogherini will present various variants of how to protect the interests of European operators after the departure of the United States from the nuclear agreement", a senior EU official told reporters on May 15 ahead of the EU-Western Balkans Summit in Sofia. Therefore US tariffs can not be justified on the basis of national security. "We need to bring reality back into this discussion".