EU news: Lithuanian president slaps down Tusk over Trump threats | World | News

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Mr Tusk, the EU’s most senior official, questioned why the bloc needed enemies when it has friends like Donald Trump, while speaking to reporters at the EU’s Western Balkan summit in Sofia, Bulgaria yesterday.

He said: “Besides traditional political challenges, such as the rise of China or the aggressive stance of Russia, we are witnessing today a new phenomenon: the capricious assertiveness of the American administration.

“Looking at the latest decisions of President Trump, someone could even think: with friends like that, who needs enemies?

“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.”

The stern message to America comes in the wake of Mr Trump’s decision to impose steel and aluminium tariffs on the EU as well as deciding to withdrawal support for the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Arriving in Sofia today, President Grybauskaite tried to stress the importance of transatlantic trade for both sides of the ocean.

Attempting to encourage a more respectful dialogue between the EU and US, she said: “Transatlantic trade is important for all, but we would like to see a respectful discussions from both sides because we treat the US as a partner and not a rival.”

The Iran nuclear deal, which removed sanctions on Tehran in exchange for a halt to their nuclear programmes, is set to be one of the summit’s hottest topics.

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said: “We want to stick to it, of course, and the European Union is doing what we can to also make Iran stick to the agreement.

“We have to do whatever we can and that’s what we’re working with.”

Theresa May is also in the Bulgarian capital at the event, with Brexit on the back burners as the Prime Minister wants to present a united front on the Iran deal with co-signatories Germany and France.

The British Prime Minster alongside Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron will “present their assessment of the situation” surrounding the Iran nuclear deal, according to Mr Tusk.



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