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Tusk: the EU Trump got rid of all illusions

Tusk: the EU Trump got rid of all illusions

"As long as Iran respects the provisions of the deal, the EU will also respect it", said Donald Tusk, president of the European Council and chairman of the leaders' gathering in the Bulgarian capital Sofia.

The US decision to move its embassy in Israel to the disputed city of Jerusalem and its response to the killing of 60 Palestinians at protests in Gaza on Monday has further alienated the US from its European allies, who have spoken out on Israel's actions.

He said: "We are witnessing today a new phenomenon: the capricious assertiveness of the American administration". Thanks to him we 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, hours before the 28 leaders were to sit down for their summit dinner in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Trump's decision to abandon the 2015 nuclear accord risks exposing European countries that have since invested in Iran to renewed U.S. sanctions, after "wind-down" periods of three to six months expire.

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"I will propose we stick to our guns", Tusk said.

Earlier on Wednesday, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini briefed top officials at the European Commission on talks she had held the previous evening with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his German, French and British counterparts.

Meanwhile, the European Union is also trying to be exempted from the aluminium and steel trade tariffs imposed by the US. But Europeans are increasingly exasperated by the way Trump is steering USA policy, objecting not only to his stances but also to what they say is erratic policy making that switches on the whim of Fox News programmers.

He also suggested the European Union owes Trump a debt of gratitude for helping Europe to drop "all illusions".

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The blocking statute was developed in 1996 to counter U.S. sanctions on Cuba, but has not been tested yet. "We need to bring back reality in this discussion, which is not the case today".

The EU's top energy official, Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete, is meanwhile heading to Iran on May 18-21 for talks on energy cooperation, a symbolic gesture from the EU that it wants to stay engaged despite the U.S. withdrawal.

The French energy giant Total said Wednesday that it will cease operations in Iran by November in order to avoid USA sanctions, while the Danish shipping firm Maersk and German insurer Alianz also have signaled their intentions of pulling out of Iran unless the companies secure tariff exemptions from Washington.

They also opened the door for discussions on energy relationship with the United States, in particular about liquefied natural gas (LNG), which the USA is keen on selling in Europe.

The Turkish President made a loud statement about Israel
Thousands of Palestinians gathered on the Gaza Strip's eastern border since early Monday morning to take part in protests aimed to commemorate the Nakba anniversary and protest the relocation of the U.S.


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