Tusk: US helps European Union to get rid of illusions

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif leaves the EU council headquarters in Brussels Belgium

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif leaves the EU council headquarters in Brussels Belgium

"Looking at the latest decisions of Donald Trump, someone could even think: with friends like that who needs enemies". Because thanks to him we have got rid of all illusions. "We realise that if you need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of your arm". Tusk highlighted the "dramatic events in Gaza" in a letter sent to the European Council before the summit on Tuesday.

Trump has bewildered the Europeans by threatening to slap tariffs on EU steel and aluminum exports and reneging on an agreement to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons, which the EU believes is vital to world security. Tusk said he wanted Europe to "stick to our guns" and described Trump's justification of tariffs on the basis of national security as "absurd". "Despite the U.S. hesitation".

Options for the EU to protect European companies from negative consequences of the USA decision were also needed, Tusk said.

While European officials have spoken out against Trump's trade actions before, the language used by Tusk marks a new tone in the relationship.

Theresa May, Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel have resolved to stick with the joint comprehensive plan of action with Iran, despite the threats of United States sanctions against European businesses.

The EU's hopes have been complicated by the fact that European companies would also be exposed to U.S. sanctions imposed on anyone doing business in Iran.

US President Donald Trump arrives to pose for a family photo with participants of the G7 summit during the Summit of the Heads of State and of Government of the G7, the group of most industrialized economies, plus the European Union, on May 27, 2017 in Taormina, Sicily.

With Trump's cabinet being increasingly populated by the likes of National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who have long pushed for regime change in Iran, the USA position is becoming more at odds with those of Europe, Russia, and China.

On Trump's decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, a move the European Union has warned could spark a trade war, the leaders also presented a united front.

The EU is also unimpressed by Trump's decision to place tariffs on European steel and aluminium as part of his "America first" agenda.

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 US pulled out.

'The question is whether you can talk better if you terminate an agreement or if you stay in it. we say you can talk better if you remain in it, ' she said.

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