EU Official Takes Donald Trump to Task: 'With Friends Like That' …

039;With friends like that who needs enemies’ Tusk lashes out at Trump

French President Emmanuel Macron has tried to charm Trump but that failed to prevent Washington last week from abandoning the Iran deal, which seeks to curb Tehran's nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief.

The European Union's top official launched a stinging attack Wednesday on President Donald Trump, slamming his "capricious assertiveness" and saying the U.S. leader acted more like an enemy than a friend.

It was clear, Mr Tusk suggested, that Washington could no longer be relied upon.

Theresa May, Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel have resolved to stick with the joint comprehensive plan of action with Iran, despite the threats of USA sanctions against European businesses. "That means permanent exemptions from USA tariffs on aluminium and steel".

In a scathing attack, former Polish prime minister Tusk compared the Trump administration with Europe's long-time adversaries, Moscow and Beijing. "This is the only real alternative". 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. "But frankly speaking, Europe should be grateful for President Trump because thanks to him, we have got rid of all illusions."He has made us realise that, if you need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of your arm".

"Europe must do everything in its power to protect, despite today's mood, the transatlantic bond. But at the same time we must be prepared for those scenarios where we have to act on our own".

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European leaders have scrambled to salvage the 2015 agreement in which Iran agreed to halt its nuclear program, a landmark deal that many Europeans see as essential for their security.

Meanwhile the European Union is still trying to win exemptions from tariffs on steel and aluminium exports. Therefore US tariffs can not be justified on the basis of national security.

European diplomats have sought to play down expectations of Tuesday's meeting, stressing the enormous challenge of finding a way around U.S. sanctions punishing foreign businesses trading with Iran, which have global reach.

"While recalling the European commitment to strong transatlantic relations as a cornerstone of the security and prosperity of both the United States and the European Union, we also underlined our support for dialogue on trade issues of common concern".

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 United States embassy in Jerusalem, the conflict's bloodiest day in years. "We need to bring reality back into this discussion".

Bulgaria, now holder of the rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU, is hosting the informal working dinner of EU leaders on the eve of the May 17 EU-Western Balkans summit in Sofia.

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