EU chief Tusk sees Trump an­nounce­ments as threats

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD - RAF CASERT

BRUSSELS — The leader of the Euro­pean Union has put long­time ally the United States in a “threat” cat­e­gory on Tues­day, in­sist­ing that Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump is con­tribut­ing to the “highly un­pre­dictable” out­look for the bloc.

In a let­ter to 27 EU lead­ers be­fore Fri­day’s sum­mit in Malta, EU Pres­i­dent Don­ald Tusk men­tioned the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion as part of an ex­ter­nal “threat” together with China, Rus­sia, rad­i­cal Is­lam, war and ter­ror.

Echo­ing state­ments from many Euro­pean cap­i­tals, he said that those global chal­lenges, “as well as wor­ry­ing dec­la­ra­tions by the new Amer­i­can ad­min­is­tra­tion, all make our fu­ture highly un­pre­dictable.”

He said that “par­tic­u­larly the change in Wash­ing­ton puts the Euro­pean Union in a dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion; with the new ad­min­is­tra­tion seem­ing to put into ques­tion the last 70 years of Amer­i­can for­eign pol­icy.”

This year marks the cen­ten­nial of the U.S. en­try in the First World War, and it marked the begin­ning of the Amer­i­can cen­tury as well as the en­dur­ing trans-At­lantic bond with Europe. Ten­sions have risen though since Trump was elected U.S. pres­i­dent.

Trump has ques­tioned NATO and hopes for a ma­jor trans-At­lantic trade deal have al­ready taken a deep dive.

“We should re­mind our Amer­i­can friends of their own motto: United we stand, di­vided we fall,” Tusk said in the let­ter and also told a news con­fer­ence in Tallinn, Es­to­nia, af­ter meet­ing with the three Baltic prime min­is­ters.

Bri­tain wasn’t part of the let­ter since it is poised to leave the EU and is only sched­uled to at­tend part of the lead­ers’ meet­ing in La Val­letta. The de­ci­sion to leave was the big­gest set­back for the EU in decades, and Trump didn’t en­dear him­self with many EU lead­ers by say­ing that Brexit “will be a tremen­dous as­set.”

Tusk wrote to the lead­ers that “in pol­i­tics, the ar­gu­ment of dig­nity must not be overused,” be­fore adding that “to­day we must stand up very clearly for our dig­nity, the dig­nity of a united Europe — re­gard­less of whether we are talk­ing to Rus­sia, China, the U.S. or Turkey.” And Tusk fur­ther in­sisted that any dis­in­te­gra­tion wouldn’t be ben­e­fi­cial to the re­stored na­tion states, but in­stead lead to “their real and fac­tual de­pen­dence on the great su­per­pow­ers: the United States, Rus­sia and China.”

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Euro­pean Coun­cil Pres­i­dent Don­ald Tusk has put the Don­ald Trump gov­ern­ment in a "threat"cat­e­gory to the EU, along­side China, Rus­sia and rad­i­cal Is­lam.

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