News ID: 176773
Published: 0722 GMT January 31, 2017

Tusk calls on Europe to rally against Trump threat

Tusk calls on Europe to rally against Trump threat

European Council President Donald Tusk on Tuesday called Donald Trump an existential threat to Europe, in an extraordinary attack on the new US president.

In an open letter delivered to leaders of the 27 member states, Tusk included the new American President as part of a group of “dangerous” challenges facing the bloc, Reuters reported.

He issued a call for “political solidarity” before a summit in Malta later this week, where Europe’s heads of states will gather to discuss the future of the bloc.

Poland’s former prime minister said “worrying declarations by the new American administration”, among other issues, put the future of Europe in jeopardy.

“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,” he wrote.

"The disintegration of the European Union will not lead to the restoration of some mythical, full sovereignty of its member states, but to their real and factual dependence on the great superpowers: The United States, Russia and China.”

Tusk's remarks were among the strongest directed at the new US president since Trump took office 11 days ago and reflects a growing sense in many European capitals of a need to respond to his policy moves, notably the ban at the weekend on the entry of refugees and others from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

"Only together can we be fully independent,” Tusk wrote. "We must therefore take assertive and spectacular steps that would change the collective emotions and revive the aspiration to raise European integration to the next level."

European diplomats said senior national officials and diplomats discussed a possible EU response to Trump at a meeting in Brussels. However, some governments were cautious that Europeans should not be hasty to alienate a key ally.

British Finance Minister Philip Hammond warned the new president would have more of a destabilizing effect on the bloc than Britain’s withdrawal from the EU.



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