With friends like Trump, who needs enemies: European Union chief
17 May, 2018, 05:10 | Author: Carlos George
EU President Donald Tusk said the leaders in Sofia would "reflect on recent global developments, in particular following President Trump's announcements on Iran and trade as well as the latest, dramatic events in Gaza".
The 28 anxious EU leaders are gathering in the Bulgarian capital for discussions on how to salvage the nuclear deal and European business dealings with Iran from Trump's sanctions.
"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.
"He has made us realize that, if you need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of your arm", he said, according to the Reuters news agency.
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.
"Despite all the difficulties we have these days, the transatlantic relations are and will remain of outstanding importance", Merkel told the German parliament.
It was clear, Mr Tusk suggested, that Washington could no longer be relied upon.
"The EU will continue fighting for a rules-based worldwide system despite recent decisions on climate change, tariffs and Iran", the source said after the leaders met over dinner in Sofia. But that highly symbolic move is unlikely to create much wiggle room to avoid USA sanctions.
"The EU and United States are friends and partners, therefore U.S. tariffs can not be justified on the basis of national security", Tusk said. Here again, unity is our greatest strength.
"The EU and U.S. are friends and partners". Trump says the tariffs are needed for national security reasons.
In dinner talks in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, EU leaders will be briefed on possible incentives to keep Tehran in the nuclear agreement, even after a key player like the USA pulled out.
Foreign ministers of Germany, France and Britain met Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Brussels on that on Tuesday and tasked their experts to come up with measures for a meeting of their deputies in Vienna next week.
Mr Tusk said the USA appeared to be hesitating in hitting European companies doing business in Iran with sanctions, but the bloc still needed to be ready to protect its interests. We must develop our economic sovereignty now.
Wednesday's dinner will be followed by a summit on Thursday where European Union leaders will meet their counterparts from the Balkan nations of Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia and Serbia. "We need to bring back reality in this discussion, which is not the case today". "We did discuss the possibility of applying our blocking statute".
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