EU's Donald Tusk takes aim at Donald Trump over Iran, steel sanctions

EU official: Europe must send signal that it protects its 'own economic interests'

After listing more of their proposals, Nigel finished: "So the whole European project is crumbling, the third biggest country in the eurozone is in open revolt against the whole system and all Donald Tusk can do is say a few sad words about Donald Trump".

"Looking at the latest decisions of President Trump some could even think, 'With friends like that, who needs enemies?'"

"This is the line already discussed by our foreign ministers and presented by the United Kingdom, Germany and France, who are working hard to sustain the deal", he said.

European Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said the EU was willing to use legislation that would make it illegal for European companies to comply with USA sanctions imposed on Iran.

"I want the European Commission to be given a green light, so that it is ready to act whenever European interests are affected", he said.

The US decision to move its embassy in Israel to the disputed city of Jerusalem and its response to the killing of 60 Palestinians at protests in Gaza on Monday has further alienated the US from its European allies, who have spoken out on Israel's actions.

Tusk said that at the May 16 dinner, "I will propose we stick to our guns". Later, Washington extended the exemptions for the European Union, Canada and Mexico for 30 days in order to make time for talks on the terms of steel and aluminum imports.

Tusk's public comments on Wednesday also touched on the new US tariffs on steel and aluminum that are set to bite on June 1 unless Trump grants a reprieve. Therefore US tariffs can not be justified on the basis of national security.

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".

And there's Donald Tusk versus Donald Trump battle going on - played out on Trump's favourite communication tool. But at the news conference in Sofia, he was clearly not in any joking mood. "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".

"I would like our debate to reconfirm without any doubt that as long as Iran respects the provisions of the deal, the European Union will also respect it", Tusk said in a letter to the leaders.

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

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