By Sorwar Alam
ANKARA (AA) - The head of the European Council on Wednesday criticized U.S. President Donald Trump over his recent decisions on trade and the Iran nuclear deal, both of them facing firm European Union opposition.
“Looking at the latest decisions of President Trump, someone could even think: with friends like that who needs enemies?” Donald Tusk told reporters ahead the EU leaders’ agenda dinner for the EU-Western Balkans summit set for Thursday in Sofia, Bulgaria.
He added: “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.”
“But frankly speaking, Europe should be grateful to President Trump. Because thanks to him we have got rid of all illusions. He has made us realize that if you need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of your arm. Europe must do everything in its power to protect, in spite of today’s mood, the transatlantic bond,” he said.
He urged the EU to be united and ready to stand and act on its own.
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.
He called on EU leaders “to reconfirm that the EU sticks to the deal as long as Iran does,” underlining that “the deal is good for European and global security”.
Marking the importance of Thursday’s summit with Western Balkan partners, Tusk said the event would be “an opportunity for both sides to reaffirm that the European perspective remains the Western Balkans' geostrategic choice.”
“Beyond the longer-term outlook, we want to demonstrate that we care about socioeconomic development in the region here and now. Investing in infrastructural and human connections with and within the Western Balkans is in the EU's best interest. And it will be the objective of our summit. I hope to bring our Western Balkan friends closer to the EU,” he added.