Mideast and Iran overshadow EU-West Balkans summit
Mideast and Iran overshadow EU-West Balkans summit
President Trump speaks with Donald Tusk in Brussels
16 May, 2018, 22:46
"The role of the EU is absolutely essential", he said, "And so my appeal here in Brussels is for the the European Union to be more and more united, more and more effective, more and more present and for its voice to be more and more heard in worldwide relations".
"Looking at latest decisions of [Trump] someone could even think: with friends like that who needs enemies", wrote Donald Tusk, president of the European Council.
"He has made us realise that if you need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of your arm".
Tusk even compared the United States administration to Europe's traditional foes Moscow and Beijing in his broadside, which came as the 28 European Union leaders met in Bulgaria to discuss how best to react to Trump.
The fallout from his decision to abandon the Iran nuclear deal last week continues around the world, and on Wednesday the head of the European Council went after President Trump. During a speech on Wednesday to the German Parliament, she also said it would be wrong to cancel the nuclear agreement with Iran and called the decision to pull out of the accord "troubling news". Donald Tusk told reporters ahead the EU leaders' agenda dinner for the EU-Western Balkans summit set for Thursday in Sofia, Bulgaria.
European leaders are troubled by Trump's "America first" rhetoric and inconsistent statements on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the European Union.
The EU is also unimpressed by Trump's decision to place tariffs on European steel and aluminium as part of his "America first" agenda.
He added: "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 American administration". "This is the only real alternative".
In the Bulgarian capital Sofia for an European Union leaders' dinner that will focus largely on the fallout from Trump's recent policy moves, Tusk cited the "capricious assertiveness of the US administration" and said developing a unified response to Trump would be a main topic of discussion.
There is likely to be little or no Brexit discussions as the British Prime Minster alongside Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron will "present their assessment of the situation" surrounding the Iran nuclear deal, according to Mr Tusk.
He called on EU leaders "to reconfirm that the EU sticks to the deal as long as Iran does", underlining that "the deal is good for European and global security".
"Here again, unity is our greatest strength and my objective is simple - we stick to our guns". It is absurd to even think that Europe could be a threat to the United States.
"But we need to be sure that we have done everything in our power, and within the limits of the worldwide trade rules, to avoid a negative scenario", Tusk said.
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