EU chief lashes out at Trump over Iran nu­clear deal

China Daily - - WORLD -

SOFIA, Bul­garia — A top Euro­pean Union of­fi­cial branded US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump self­ish and capri­cious on Wed­nes­day as EU lead­ers met to count the likely eco­nomic dam­age US poli­cies might in­flict on the bloc and to try to res­cue the Iran nu­clear deal.

In a strik­ing rhetor­i­cal as­sault on the leader of Europe’s big­gest ally, EU Coun­cil Pres­i­dent Don­ald Tusk said, given Trump’s re­cent de­ci­sions, “some­one could even think ‘with friends like that, who needs ene­mies?’”

Trump has be­wil­dered the Euro­peans by threat­en­ing to slap tar­iffs on EU steel and alu­minum ex­ports and reneg­ing on an agree­ment to stop Iran from de­vel­op­ing nu­clear weapons, which the EU be­lieves is vi­tal to world se­cu­rity. Trump has also bro­ken with a key in­ter­na­tional prin­ci­ple of Mid­dle East peace ef­forts by mov­ing the US em­bassy in Is­rael to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

Tusk’s re­marks, made be­fore he chaired a meet­ing in Bul­garia of the 28 lead­ers whose coun­tries make up the world’s big­gest trad­ing bloc, un­der­scored the widen­ing gulf in EU-United States re­la­tions.

“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,” Tusk said.

At din­ner talks in the Bul­gar­ian cap­i­tal of Sofia, EU lead­ers were briefed on pos­si­ble in­cen­tives to keep Te­heran in the nu­clear agree­ment de­spite a key player like the US pulling out.

Trump’s de­ci­sion means that US sanc­tions, held in check by a pres­i­den­tial veto un­til now, could soon hit Iran and Euro­pean com­pa­nies do­ing busi­ness there.

The op­tions be­ing con­sid­ered in­clude new credit lines for Iran, in­creased en­ergy co­op­er­a­tion and the use of EU laws to block Euro­pean com­pa­nies from cav­ing in to US sanc­tions.

Trump’s de­ci­sion to re­lo­cate the US em­bassy to the con­tested city of Jerusalem will also be raised. Some EU lead­ers have made a di­rect link be­tween the move and the killing of al­most 60 Pales­tini­ans dur­ing protests on the Gaza bor­der.

Euro­pean Coun­cil pres­i­dent

Calls for probe

Bel­gian Prime Min­is­ter Charles Michel is call­ing for an in­ter­na­tional in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“It’s a mo­ment that sends a shiver down your spine. Be­cause there is a strik­ing con­trast be­tween, on the one hand, an in­au­gu­ra­tion in great splen­dor, 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.

On Thurs­day, Is­rael said it launched an overnight air raid on a Ha­mas fa­cil­ity in Gaza after gun­fire from the ter­ri­tory tar­geted its sol­diers and dam­aged a build­ing.

One day ear­lier, the Pales­tine Lib­er­a­tion Or­ga­ni­za­tion slammed Gu­atemala for mov­ing its em­bassy to Jerusalem, say­ing it un­der­mines the twostate so­lu­tion prin­ci­ple.

Gu­atemalan Pres­i­dent Jimmy Mo­rales at­tended the em­bassy in­au­gu­ra­tion and met with the Is­raeli pres­i­dent and prime min­is­ter sep­a­rately.

Don­ald Tusk,

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