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Does Europe Have Foe in Trump White House? It May, E.U. Official Says


Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, at a news conference on Tuesday in Tallinn, Estonia. Credit Ints Kalnins/Reuters

BRUSSELS — Among the threats facing Europe in an increasingly hostile world, add President Trump’s bellicose pronouncements, the president of the European Council said Tuesday in a letter identifying the American leader as a potential adversary.

The letter by Donald Tusk, which was sent to European Union leaders, included “worrying declarations by the new American administration” with Russian aggression, terrorism and China’s confrontational maritime policies as threats to the bloc’s future.

“For the first time in our history, in an increasingly multipolar external world, so many are becoming openly anti-European, or Eurosceptic at best,” Mr. Tusk wrote. The letter was released ahead of a European Union summit meeting in Malta on Friday; Mr. Tusk is responsible for setting the agenda for the meetings.

“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 European Union has been struggling to contend with fractious forces inside the bloc driven mainly by its failure to find unity to address the migration crisis, resolve a debt crisis that has driven many Greeks into poverty, and respond to external pressures like Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

The letter does not reflect a new policy for the European Union, and member states of the 28-nation bloc are not required to act on Mr. Tusk’s advice when they meet on Friday. Many European leaders have made their differences with Mr. Trump known.

Even so, the sentiments expressed in Mr. Tusk’s letter push those European leaders’ exasperation with the American president further into the public view.

Source: NYT > World

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