'With friends like Trump, who needs enemies?'

With friends like Donald Trump, who needs enemies: European Union chief

With friends like Donald Trump, who needs enemies: European Union chief

Tusk pled Trump not to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement and "change the (political) climate for the worse".

President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker also remarked last week that the European Union should replace the United States as a global leader after the latter "as an worldwide actor has lost vigor, and because of it, in the long term, influence".

In a letter to European Union leaders ahead of their meeting Wednesday night in Sofia, Donald Tusk said that with friends like Donald Trump, the European Union could ask who needs enemies.

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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.

Mr Trump's decision to walk away from the landmark nuclear deal with Iran - to which the UK, France, Germany, Russia and China are co-signatories - is being linked by the European Union with the USA administration's refusal to exempt the bloc from steel and aluminium tariffs. "But at the same time, we must be prepared for those scenarios, where we will have to act on our own", said Tusk, a former Polish prime minister. The shifting desires make it almost impossible to negotiate with the White House, many diplomats say, because they can not strike a bargain to get close to what Trump wants when he doesn't know it himself.

The EU is hoping that Iran will continue to obey the rules of the agreement as long as enough of the economic benefits promised in the deal are preserved. The contrast has stirred up even more European anger toward Trump's foreign policy, and the Gaza violence is another mark on the agenda for European leaders to discuss during their day and a half of meetings that starts Wednesday.

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On trade, Tusk said the US move to impose trade penalties on national-security grounds was "absurd", since the European Union is a core American ally and does not represent a threat. "That means permanent exemptions from USA tariffs on aluminium and steel". Therefore US tariffs can not be justified on the basis of national security. But at the news conference in Sofia, he was clearly not in any joking mood. 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. "We realize that if you need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of your arm", Tusk said in Sofia, also posting the comments in a Tweet tagging the United States president.

"The EU and USA are friends and partners, therefore U.S. tariffs can not be justified on the basis of national security", Tusk said.

This move sparked discontent among the key United States trading partners, especially the EU. "We need to bring back reality in this discussion, which is not the case today".

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