Sunday, 20 May, 2018

European Union leaders to forge united front on Trump

With friends like Donald Trump, who needs enemies: European Union chief European Union leaders to forge united front on Trump
Melinda Barton | 16 May, 2018, 22:46

Mr. Tusk's tweet, however, was one of the more notable, public denunciations of Mr. Trump's decision making by a European leader, as a series of moves on trade, Israel and other issues has increasingly put traditional allies at odds with the administration in Washington.

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

"This is the line already discussed by our foreign ministers and presented by the United Kingdom, Germany and France, who are working hard to sustain the deal", he said. But Europeans are increasingly exasperated by the way Trump is steering US policy, objecting not only to his stances but also to what they say is erratic policymaking that switches on the whim of Fox News programmers.

"This is why we agreed in March to call for the permanent exemption of the EU from these tariffs and strongly supported the steps taken by the European Commission to ensure that the interests of the EU are fully protected".

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

"My objective is simple - we stick to our guns", Tusk said of the expected leaders' discussion on trade.

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, "The EU and USA are friends and partners". Therefore US tariffs can not be justified on the basis of national security.

The EU has called for "utmost restraint" after Israeli forces killed 60 Palestinians during clashes and protests along the Gaza border against the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, the conflict's bloodiest day in years. "We need to bring back reality in this discussion, which is not the case today".

Tusk, a former prime minister of Poland who now presides over one branch of European Union policymaking, went full zen in his angry description of Trump's effect on Europe.

While European officials have spoken out against Trump's trade actions before, the language used by Tusk marks a new tone in the relationship. He darkly thanked Trump for delivering a healthy reality-check to European Union countries - historically America's closest allies since the end the Second World War. "But, frankly speaking, Europe should be grateful by President Trump".

"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 USA administration", Tusk said. "He made us realize that if you need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of your arm". 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.