Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

'With Friends Like That, Who Needs Enemies?'

'With Friends Like That, Who Needs Enemies?'

A top European Union official slammed President Donald Trump over his decision to end the Iran nuclear deal on Wednesday morning.

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.

"Looking at the latest decisions of Donald Trump, someone could even think: with friends like that who needs enemies".

"Europe should be grateful for President Trump because thanks to him we have got rid of all illusions" that the European Union can rely on others for help, Tusk added.

"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. Thanks to him we got rid of all illusions. "We realise that if you need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of your arm".

While European officials have spoken out against Trump's trade actions before, the language used by Tusk marks a new tone in the relationship.

European leaders are troubled by Trump's "America first" rhetoric and inconsistent statements on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the EU.

European leaders were also unable to persuade Mr. Trump not to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, a failure that weakens efforts to combat global warming.

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He added: "Europe must do everything in its power to protect, in spit of today's mood, the transatlantic bond, but at the same time we must be prepared for those scenarios where we have to act on our own".

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

Trump bewildered the Europeans by threatening to slap tariffs on EU steel and aluminum exports and reneging on an agreement to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons, which the EU believes is vital to world security.

Speaking to lawmakers in Paris on Wednesday, France's junior minister for Europe, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, said the US behaviour meant it was time that Europe stood up for itself.

White House National Security Adviser John Bolton indicated on Sunday that the USA would be willing to impose sanctions on any European companies that continue to work or do business with Iran.

The blocking statute was developed in 1996 to counter U.S. sanctions on Cuba, Iran and Libya, but has not been tested yet. "It's a moment of truth for Europe", he said.

On Saturday, Merkel told Europeans that the USA had made potential peace in the Middle East "even more difficult" and warned that "the harder the problem is, and the easier the solution is claimed to be, the more suspicious and critical everyone should be".

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