Europe's leaders gather amid fears about Trump's rhetoric

Author

05 February, 2017

European Union leaders are holding a one-day, informal, summit in Malta to discuss migration and the consolidation of Europe once the United Kingdom leaves the bloc.

May's office said she would use the summit as a chance to talk about her meeting with Trump in Washington last week, where she became the first foreign leader to visit the White House since his inauguration.

"There was concern among the European Union 28 on some decisions being taken by the new USA administration and also some attitudes being adopted by the administration", he told a press conference after an informal summit of European Union leaders in Valletta, Malta this evening.

One by one, the European Union leaders queued up to vent their disquiet at Mr Trump's ban on travellers from seven Muslim-majority countries - and implicitly reject Mrs May's offer to be a bridge between Brussels and Washington.

Ms Wallstrom told BBC radio: "No I don't think that that is in the making at the moment".

He said: "Those who want to forge bilateral ties with the United States are of course well understood by the public".

"Obviously there was concern amongst the European Union 28 on some decisions that are being taken by the new USA administration, and also some attitudes that are being adopted", Muscat said.

This is the latest row between the EU and the US, after President Trump blamed Germany of manipulating the European currency earlier this week. What matters is solidarity at the European Union level.

The decision to veto Malloch is based on the strong "anti-European" profile of the American diplomat and even the members of the European Parliament threatened to declare him persona non grata in Europe.

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"There was a sense that we need to engage with the USA just the same", Muscat said.

The not-so-subtle back-and-forths continued on Friday as Chancellor Merkel said at the Malta Summit that "Europe is on top of the agenda for me and not talking about other parts of the world". She repeated her statement from the middle of January that Europe has "its fate in its own hands".

The Austrian chancellor, Christian Kern, said Trump's ban on travellers from some Muslim-majority countries was "highly problematic".

European leaders called for a unified response to Donald Trump's policies following the summit in Malta.

"To designate an ambassador, it is better if he believes in the institution in which he is supposed to work, it is as simple as that", Hollande said.

'Today we are communicating with the United States mainly on Twitter'.

Asked what he thought of leaders, like those in Hungary and Poland, who were leaning towards Mr Trump, Mr Hollande said: "Those who want to forge bilateral ties with the United States are of course well understood by the public".

"But it is pretty clear she needs to choose her priorities well".


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