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

With friends like Donald Trump, who needs enemies: European Union chief

European Union chief Donald Tusk hit out at US President Donald Trump today, accusing Washington of "capricious assertiveness" in abandoning the Iran nuclear deal and imposing trade tariffs on Europe.

The EU and the United States have traditionally been the closest of allies, working together also via North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

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. "But, frankly speaking, Europe should be grateful by President Trump. We realize that if you need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of your arm", Tusk said in Sofia, also posting the comments in a Tweet tagging the United States president.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and EU foreign policy chief will outline to the leaders what measures the bloc could take to shield its now substantial economic interests in Iran, Tusk added. "The EU and USA are friends and partners, therefore United States tariffs can not be justified on the basis of national security", he said. Despite the U.S. hesitation.

"The EU and USA are friends and partners, therefore United States tariffs can not be justified on the basis of national security", Tusk said.

The EU has called for "utmost restraint" after Israeli forces killed 60 Palestinians during clashes and protests along the Gaza border against the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, the conflict's bloodiest day in years.

"Here again, unity is our greatest strength and my objective is simple - we stick to our guns".

Trade tensions have been growing since March 23, when Donald Trump ordered to introduce a 25% tariff on steel imports and 10% tax on aluminum, claiming to protect the U.S. producers from unfair competition and boost national security.

"We need to bring reality back to this discussion, which is not the case today", he said.

French President Emmanuel Macron has tried to charm Trump but that failed to prevent Washington last week from abandoning the Iran deal, which seeks to curb Tehran's nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief.

This move came less than three years after it was signed by his predecessor Barack Obama and the leaders of Iran, China, Russia, the United Kingdom, Germany and France. Leaders on Wednesday plan to discuss whether to direct European Union businesses to defy US sanctions against Iran, an unusual measure with uncertain chances of success that would nevertheless be a diplomatic blow to Washington.

'This agreement is everything other than ideal, but Iran is, according to all the knowledge of the global nuclear authorities, sticking to the commitments of the agreement, ' stated Merkel.

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