Trump helped Europe lose its illusions - Tusk

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

Three European Union (EU) powers that signed onto the Iran nuclear deal are in talks with Tehran to keep it in place, despite President Donald Trump's announcement withdrawing the U.S. from the arrangement.

It is further said to be forming a united European front against the USA in response to leaving the Iran nuclear deal and imposition of trade tariffs on Europe.

In order to protect European Union companies from U.S. extraterritorial sanctions, they agreed to modernise the so-called blocking statute, a 1996 regulation that prevents companies to recognise certain non-EU jurisdictions decisions.

Tusk also said that Europe should be grateful for Mr. Trump "because thanks to him, we have got rid of all illusions". "We realize that if you need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of your arm", the European Council president said in a Tweet tagging the United States president.

Tusk added that Europe must protect the "transatlantic bond", but be prepared to act on its own, with "more political unity and determination".

Mr. Tusk's tweet, however, was one of the more notable, public denunciations of Mr. Trump's decision making by a European leader, as a series of moves on trade, Israel and other issues has increasingly put traditional allies at odds with the administration in Washington.

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After listing more of their proposals, Nigel finished: "So the whole European project is crumbling, the third biggest country in the eurozone is in open revolt against the whole system and all Donald Tusk can do is say a few sad words about Donald Trump".

The French energy giant Total said Wednesday that it will cease operations in Iran by November in order to avoid US 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.

"The extra-territorial dimension of United States sanctions is unacceptable".

If it gets the exemption, the source said the European Union was ready to take steps including "voluntary regulatory cooperation" with the U.S., and working on reform of the World Trade Organisation, after Trump claimed the USA was unfairly treated.

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. "We need to bring reality back into this discussion". The aim is to counter Trump's reimposition of sanctions on Iran.

Tusk will also be having a personal meeting with May on Thursday to discuss Brexit, as concerns grow about the debate in the United Kingdom over the customs union.

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