With friends like Trump, who needs enemies?: EU's Tusk

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European Council President Donald Tusk criticised United States president Donald Trump for withdrawing from the Iran deal and imposing steel and aluminium tariffs on the EU, citing the "capricious assertiveness of the United States administration", Politico reports.

The President of the European Council slammed the US President, warning Trump is a bad friends who acts with "capricious assertiveness".

Tusk hit out at "the capricious assertiveness of the American administration" under Trump.

"Looking at latest decisions of [Trump] someone could even think: with friends like that who needs enemies", wrote Donald Tusk, president of the European Council.

Speaking at a Western Balkans summit in Sofia, Bulgaria on Wednesday, Tusk didn't hold back in his assessment of the USA, saying European Union members should unite to face "a new phenomenon - the capricious assertiveness of the American administration".

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

The European Union's top official launched a stinging attack Wednesday (16 May) on President Donald Trump, slamming his "capricious assertiveness" and saying the USA leader acted more like an enemy than a friend. "This means a permanent exemption from USA tariffs on aluminium and steel if we are to discuss possible trade liberalisation with the U.S". "This is the only real alternative". To put it simply: either we are together, or we will not be at all.

"It's Europe's economic sovereignty, and what we are demanding is that we are exempted without conditions or time limits", French President Emmanuel Macron said in Bulgaria, where European Union leaders have gathered for a summit with Balkans countries. "Now we understand that if we need help, we can get only from ourselves", wrote Tusk.

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"Europe must do everything in its power to protect, despite today's mood, the transatlantic bond".

Over the dinner of Bulgarian salad, meatballs, buffalo steak and walnut biscuits with berries, May meanwhile was to tell her fellow leaders that Britain was "committed to ensuring the deal is upheld" so long as Iran honours its commitments, her spokeswoman said.

"We would stay calm here, there is no need for the meeting on Wednesday to take decisions on specific modalities of the mechanisms that are to shield the interests of European companies", the official said.

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".

It was crucial, he said, that the European Union stuck to its guns and refused to talk trade with the U.S. until it received a permanent exemption from punitive tariffs on steel and aluminium imposed by Washington on the grounds of national security.

"The EU and USA are friends and partners". "We need to bring back reality in this discussion, which is not the case today".

The EU has since sought to address some of his concerns but Trump was not convinced, and his move left the EU scrambling to salvage an accord they see as a key element of global security and a diplomatic success, as well as wondering about their future cooperation with Washington.

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