European Union leaders seek united front on Trump

European Union leaders seek united front on Trump

European Union leaders seek united front on Trump

European Council President Donald Tusk lashed out at the USA 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.

"But frankly speaking, Europe should be grateful for President Trump because thanks to him we have got rid of all illusions. 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 bloc's leaders will hope to present a united front against Mr Trump in response to his decision on the Iran nuclear deal and trade tariffs. Trump ultimately withdrew last June, but he has since signaled the United States might rejoin the agreement. "I want leaders to reconfirm that the European Union sticks to the deal as long as Iran does". Despite the United States hesitation.

European diplomats have sought to play down expectations of Tuesday's meeting, stressing the enormous challenge of finding a way around USA sanctions punishing foreign businesses trading with Iran, which have global reach.

He then added that the European Union needed to prepare for the negative impact this USA decision could have on their continent.

Tusk said that this includes the possibility to respond to the USA measures "as appropriate and in a proportionate manner", in compliance with the World Trade Organisation rules.

"Despite all the difficulties we have these days, the transatlantic relations are and will remain of outstanding importance", Merkel told the German parliament. Here again, unity is our greatest strength.

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

'This means a permanent exemption from USA tariffs on aluminium and steel if we are to discuss possible trade liberalisation with the US.

Members of the European Council will discuss ways they might be able to salvage the Iran nuclear deal now that President Trump has opted to back out of the agreement during their summit in Bulgaria this week. Therefore US tariffs can not be justified on the basis of national security.

This move sparked discontent among the key USA trading partners, especially the EU. "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 has recently confirmed that the United States would abandon the accord with Iran signed by his predecessor Barack Obama in 2015, and renew the sanctions on Iran which the pact had ended.

'This agreement is everything other than ideal, but Iran is, according to all the knowledge of the worldwide nuclear authorities, sticking to the commitments of the agreement, ' stated Merkel.

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