‘We respond with one voice’: French president Macron talks up close alliance with May and Merkel amid tensions with US over Israel, Iran nuclear deal and steel tariffs
- Emmanuel Macron talked up close alliance with Theresa May and Angela Merkel
- Said European leaders would respond with ‘one voice’ on key international issues
- Comments at Sofia summit came amid tensions with Trump in a range of areas
Emmanuel Macron heaped praise on his close links with Theresa May and Angela Merkel today – saying they would respond to global threats with ‘one voice’.
The French president posted a picture of himself deep in conversation with his British and German counterparts at a summit in Sofia.
Amid mounting tensions with the US over the Iran nuclear deal, Mr Macron said the leaders must ‘combine our strengths’.
The gathering in Bulgaria is expected to focus on the increasingly turbulent international situation.
Emmanuel Macron talked up his close links with Theresa May and Angela Merkel as they met at a summit in Sofia today (pictured)
The French president posted a picture of himself deep in conversation with his British and German counterparts at a summit in Sofia
The leaders appeared at ease with each other as they shared a joke on arriving for the summit
The fallout from Donald Trump’s decision last week to abandon the Iran nuclear deal last week will loom large – as will his threat of tariffs on steel exports, and the decision to relocate the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
European Council president Donald Tusk launched an extraordinary attack on the US president last night, saying ‘with friends like these who needs enemies’.
‘Looking at latest decisions of @realDonaldTrump someone could even think: with friends like that who needs enemies,’ Mr Tusk tweeted.
‘But frankly, EU should be grateful. Thanks to him we got rid of all illusions. We realize that if you need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of your arm.’
Alongside a picture of himself with Mrs May and Mrs Merkel, Mr Macron posted a message saying European leaders had to work together to guarantee ‘international stability’.
‘When challenges threaten to destabilise the world, the only solution: combine our strengths to respond with one voice,’ he wrote.
Downing Street said the trio had discussed the US withdrawal from the Iran deal at a meeting today.
‘The leaders reiterated their firm commitment to ensuring the deal is upheld, stressing it is important for our shared security,’ a spokesman said.
‘They pledged to work with the remaining parties to the deal to this end.
Mrs May tucked in to breakfast with her fellow EU leaders as the summit got under way today
Donald Tusk launched an extraordinary attack on Donald Trump yesterday, posting on Twitter: ‘With friends like these, who needs enemies?’
‘The leaders stressed that Iran must continue to meet its own obligations under the deal.’
The premiers ‘reiterated their concerns about Iran’s ballistic missile programme and its regional activities, which clearly contribute to the destabilisation of its neighbours’, according to the spokesman.
Referring to the Iran nuclear deal, Mrs Merkel said: ‘Everybody in the European Union shares the view that the deal is not perfect but that we should stay in this deal and continue to negotiate with Iran on this basis about other topics such as the ballistic missile programme.’
Mr Macron stepped up criticism over US steel tariffs today, urging Mr Trump to drop threats to punish European exports.
The EU has been granted a temporary exemption from the 25 per cent levy, but it expires on June 1.
Mr Macron said: ‘What we are demanding is that we are exempted without conditions or time limits.’
Mrs Merkel added: ‘We have made our position clear on issues of trade, such as trade issues with the United States.
‘Our common position is that we want an unlimited exemption but are in turn prepared to talk about the reciprocal reduction of trade barriers.’
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