European Union leader lights into Trump: 'With friends like that, who needs enemies?'

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Mr Tusk said: "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". Because, thanks to him, we got rid of all the illusions. He has made us realize that if you need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of your arm.

At the outset of a summit of European leaders whose agenda items, point by point, have to do with the flames of crises that many Europeans see as ignited by President Trump, Tusk ripped into what he called "the capricious assertiveness of the American administration" over issues including Iran, Gaza, trade tariffs and North Korea. While the European Union says these are two distinct issues, leaders are likely to lump both together in a wide-ranging discussion over dinner on how to respond to Trump's provocations.

The US has found itself at odds with much of Europe following its decision to pull out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal signed between Iran and the EU, Russia, China, and the US.

"Looking at the latest decisions of President Trump, someone could even think with friends like that who needs enemies", Tusk told reporters in the Bulgarian capital Sofia before European Union leaders met to discuss a "united front" on Trump.

'This means a permanent exemption from U.S. tariffs on aluminium and steel if we are to discuss possible trade liberalisation with the US. This is the only real alternative.

Tusk said EU leaders would use the summit to discuss the Iran deal along with innovation, the European future for the western Balkans, and Trump's trade policies.

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There is likely to be little or no Brexit discussions as 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.

Reiterating the position of France, Germany and the United Kingdom, the three European powers that helped broker the Iran nuclear agreement, Tusk said that the EU would remain committed to the deal as long as Tehran fulfilled its obligations.

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. And my objective is simple: we stick to our guns, ' stated Tusk.

"We have enough potential to rise to the challenge, but what we need is more political unity and determination".

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.

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