EU's Donald Tusk takes aim at Donald Trump over Iran, trade tariffs

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European Council President Donald Tusk derided US President Donald Trump over his administration's "capricious assertiveness" and called on the EU to unite on the Iran nuclear agreement and tariffs.

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".

In a letter to European Union leaders ahead of their meeting Wednesday night in Sofia, Donald Tusk said that with friends like Donald Trump, the European Union could ask who needs enemies.

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"But frankly speaking, Europe should be grateful for President Trump because thanks to him we have got rid of all illusions. He gave us to understand that if you need help, seek it from ourselves", wrote Tusk on his page on the social network Twitter. "Following last week's announcement of the United States withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran, we need a united European front", he wrote.

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

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".

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Nigel Farage issued some words of advice to the EU's Donald Tusk after his outburst against Donald Trump today.

This move sparked discontent among the key USA trading partners, especially the EU.

Mr Tusk said the U.S. appeared to be hesitating in hitting European companies doing business in Iran with sanctions, but the bloc still needed to be ready to protect its interests. Trump says the tariffs are needed for national security reasons. And Mr. Trump's decisions to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and to move the United States Embassy to the holy city were made despite European opposition.

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Speaking to lawmakers in Paris on Wednesday, France's junior minister for Europe, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, said the USA behaviour meant it was time that Europe stood up for itself. He is demanding an investigation into the killings of Gaza protesters. "Because there is a striking contrast between, on the one hand, an inauguration in great splendour, with smiles, and on the other hand, the drama, and families today that are in mourning with innocent children who are the victims of this situation", Michel told state broadcaster RTBF.

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