Trump helped Europe lose its illusions - Tusk

Anadolu Agency  Anadolu

Europe's mood is shifting from shock at Trump's "America First" agenda to a resolve to close ranks and assert its own position. But US clout in worldwide trade and finance limits their scope for action.

"Looking at the latest decisions of President Trump, someone could even think with friends like that who needs enemies", Tusk told reporters in the Bulgarian capital Sofia before European Union leaders met to discuss a "united front" on Trump.

"Everybody in the European Union shares the opinion that the Iran agreement is not flawless, but that we should still remain in this agreement and that we should do further negotiations with Iran on the basis of this agreement", Merkel told reporters as she entered the summit. "If we back down step by step, if we acquiesce, if we become a kind of junior partner of the USA, then we will be lost".

Iran has said it may start enriching uranium again if it can no longer see any economic benefit from sticking to the deal, which lifted earlier global sanctions on the Islamic Republic in exchange for it curbing its nuclear ambitions.

European ministers met a top Iranian official in Brussels on Tuesday in a bid to save the Iranian nuclear accord after Trump chose to pull out.

They tasked experts with coming up with measures for a meeting of their deputies in Vienna next week.

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

He also criticized U.S. President Donald trump, who announced their withdrawal from the agreement, reports dpa.


European Council President Donald Tusk called here on Wednesday for a united European front against the United States withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.

He also added that "looking at the last trump, someone could even think that such friends do not need enemies".

While European officials have spoken out against Trump's trade actions before, the language used by Tusk marks a new tone in the relationship. "No one will choose Iran over the U.S. The deal is dead".

"Transatlantic ties are and remain of paramount importance", Merkel told the German parliament.

European Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said the EU was willing to a so-called blocking statute that would make it illegal for European companies to comply with United States sanctions imposed on Iran and not recognize U.S. court decisions that enforce American sanctions. The meeting is due on May 25.

Behind their message of unity and firmness, some member states seem open to tolerating limited quotas from the United States on metals imports while others want a harder line, diplomats said.

Iran said the new U.S. sanctions were an attempt to derail efforts to save the nuclear deal.

The German chancellor has also voiced her anger at President Trump, and said earlier this week that while the deal was not optimal it did serve a purpse. "The Iranian nation will resist the USA plots", Iranian news agencies quoted Rohani as saying.

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