Emmanuel Macron

President Trump’s Tariff Decision Is “Illegal” According To French President Macron

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Many can agree that things worked just fine between the US and the European Union before President Trump took over the office. Yes, the situation is not ideal for both sides, but it did allow prosperity and stability. A decision to levy tariffs to the Old Continent countries, longtime allies, was characterised by French President Emmanuel Macron as “illegal” and a “mistake.”

Macron told that he opposes the decision of Donald Trump and that he plans to speak with him on this matter. The French president talked about international trade law and stated how this decision is not in accordance with it, reminding that France, Europe, and America are all part of that agreement. With knowing this, he continued by adding that there will be a response from Europe.

Source:time.com

One of the results of such decisions is the creation of economic and commercial nationalism. Macron pointed out that this was one of the causes for the World War II saying that “economic nationalism leads to war. This is exactly what happened in the 1930s.”

Not only the Old Continent is worried about Trump’s decisions, it also caused a reaction from World Trade Organization. According to Director-General Roberto Azevedo, this is creating a “very real concern” because of the rising trade tensions with a potential for this matter to be further escalated to a much higher level.

One of the things that were pointed out is the fact that the global trading system “was built to resolve these problems in a way that prevents further escalation.” China and India already put in motion dispute settlement with World Trade Organization, and it seems that European Union will do the same.

Source:focuswashington.com

If this happens, it will represent the second move that is done to counter Trump’s tariffs. The first one was to prepare $1.6 billion in tariffs that will hit US exports of orange juice, steel, and motorcycles. If World Trade Organization sides with Europe, and it is highly possible for this to happen, it could be just a beginning for even more penalties that could be imposed to various segments of the US industry. One thing to have in mind is that this process can take months to be resolved and in many cases, it goes for years.

Source: time.com

Iran’s foreign minister accuses the US of ‘consistently violating’ Iran nuclear agreement

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Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif rejected the possibility of renegotiating the nuclear deal his country signed in 2015. He accused Washington of violating the agreement and has said that Iran has always been faithful to it.

“We will neither outsource our security nor will we renegotiate or add onto a deal we have already implemented in good faith,” he said.

Mr. Zarif said that IAEA, the UN nuclear agency, has confirmed on several occasion Iran’s adherence to the deal while criticising the United States.

Source:urdupoint.com

“In contrast, the U.S. has consistently violated the agreement, especially by bullying others from doing business with Iran.”

One of the key campaign promises Mr. Trump made was that he would scrap the Iran Nuclear Deal. Just last month, after the meeting with the French President Emmanuel Macron, who came to Washington specifically to try and persuade Trump of remaining part of the deal, he called it “insane.”

As the May 12th deadline, Mr. Trump gave his allies to fix the agreement, approaches it becomes more apparent that The United States will exit the deal President Obama signed in 2015, together with Germany, China, Russia, France, and Britain. The deal allowed Iran to return to the international markets in exchange for curtailing its nuclear weapons program, reducing the number of centrifuges and sending much of the country’s stockpile of enrichened uranium to Russia.

It is unclear how exactly the scenario would play out, but it is certain that it will add a new dose of instability to the already shaken region.

Mohammad Javad Zarif likened the attempts to renegotiate the agreement to a real estate deal.

“When you buy a house and move your family in it or demolish it to build a skyscraper, you cannot come back two years later and renegotiate the price,” he said.

Source: thehill.com

European Inability To Handle Donald Trump Could Cause Iran Crisis

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The European officials showed us that they don’t know how to handle Donald Trump. While trying to get on his better side, they ended up on the side that is ruining the Iran deal.

The Iran deal is a multilateral agreement which guarantees that Iran won’t be able to acquire nuclear weapons. Trump and his office are on a path to destroy this deal, and if this happens, it won’t be just another funny Trump blunder. It will have a devastating impact on Iran, region, and European politics. If this occurs after years of negotiating this agreement, it will be a sign that European countries have a weak stance compared to the one America has, and that they have little to no influence in the Middle East.

Agreement that has been signed by Iran on one side and the United States, Russia, China, France, Great Britain, Germany, and the European Union, on the other, forbids this Middle East country to stockpile enriched uranium, and thus they are rendered unable to produce nuclear weapons. With this deal, Iran gave supervision of its nuclear facilities to foreign inspectors which would make sure that no bomb is manufactured secretly. In exchange for this, all of the countries that signed the agreement lifted international sanctions imposed on Iran.

Source: thehilltalk.com

China and Russia firmly support this agreement, not because they are naive but because the alternatives are far worse. If this deal collapses and Iran gets sanctions once again, the first thing they will try to do is to get themselves armed with nuclear weapons. They have an example of how much respect you can get from world powers if you arm yourself with atomic arsenal just like North Korea did. From a country on outskirts of society, they became feared just because Kim Jong Un developed nuclear facilities and ballistic missile capacity.

If sanctions are imposed on Iran once again, the only way that US could stop them from following NK example would be to launch an invasion. This absolutely isn’t necessary since the Iran deal was signed by both International Atomic Energy Agency and the U.S. government which confirmed that they are working in compliance with it. The ones that are breaking the agreement are the United States of America who failed to provide Iran with economic benefits that were promised. Donald Trump refuses to aid Iran economically without an explanation, while one of his advisors even said that he would tear it up on May 12th.

Source: www.hindustantimes.com

In response to these treats European leading countries and their leaders, all went to the US to try and persuade Trump to do the right thing. French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and British Prime Minister Theresa May, all had separate visits to the White House to try to persuade Trump to stick to the Iranian deal.

The right thing to do would be to threaten trump that EU will continue to respect the deal regardless of US stance. French president even suggested that a new deal could be struck if all parties agree. But, this is not necessary, the current deal is good enough, they should try to stay loyal one to another instead of trying to go in the direction Donald Trump wants.

Unfortunately, European countries showed weakness, and it now looks like Iran deal is about to be replaced or drastically changed. Asking Iran to modify some parts of the agreement wouldn’t be hard, but only if the United States respected their side of the contract. With them failing to comply, there’s no reason why would Iran want to recognize the deal other parties won’t. At this moment it would be hard to imagine that there isn’t something that Iran wants form the US. This is not a one-sided agreement, and Tehran will be sure that everyone understands this. If Trump indeed decides to tear it up, it could have a devastating effect on the entire region. The deal might have its flaws, but we hope that war is not a solution for this.

Merkel Consults with May and Macron, EU ready to Counter Trump’s Tariffs

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According to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Europe is on the brink of a trade war with the United States. Washington must exempt the European Union from import tariffs which are imposed on the other countries in the world if the trade war is to be avoided. Merkel said that she has support from British Theresa May and French Emmanuel Macron.

The US imposed the aluminum and steel tariffs on China and Canada, and so far, Europe has been exempt from these. However, this is just a temporary measure, and it ends on Tuesday. Neither Macron nor Merkel managed to convince Donald Trump to extend the exemption. Merkel stated that Europe was “resolved to defend its interests within the multilateral trade framework.” She also added that all three leaders (May, Macron, and Merkel) “agreed that the US ought not to take any trade measures against the European Union.”

Source:newstatesman.com

Merkel didn’t talk about specific steps which would be taken should the United States impose trade tariffs. The way China reacted was a major hit on the United States trade. They placed £70bn worth of its own tariffs on more than 120 American goods. Some of the products include rolled steel bars, wine, pork and scrap aluminum.

Before he met with Trump, Macron told Fox News: “You don’t make trade war with your ally. It’s too complicated if you make war against everybody. You make trade war against China, trade war against Europe, war in Syria, war against Iran. Come on, it doesn’t work. You need allies. We are an ally.”

Source: independent.co.uk

Saudi Arabia Supports US in Pressuring Qatar to Deploy Troops to Syria

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Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir bashed its neighbors in Qatar on Tuesday, saying that they have to provide troops for the Syrian campaign in lieu of Americans withdrawing from the country.
“Qatar has to pay for the U.S. military presence in Syria and send their military forces there before the U.S. president withdraws his protection to Qatar,” al-Jubeir said.

His statement came just days after US and French presidents Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron issued a joint statement calling for Middle Eastern countries to pick up the tab for Syrian redevelopment and put boots on the ground inside the war-torn country. Trump remains determined to withdraw 2,000 US military personnel currently in Syria and has reached out to “countries that are in the area, some of which are immensely wealthy” to fill the gap.

Source:jpost.com

Qatar seems to be reluctant to fulfill President Trump’s request, which has caused some backlash both from Washington and Riyadh. “Send its military forces (to Syria) before the U.S. president cancels U.S. protection of Qatar, which consists of the presence of a U.S. military base on its territory,” Saudi minister al-Jubeir said.
The base in question is Al-Udeid air base near Doha, which is currently holding some 10,000 servicemen and is the largest US base in the Middle East. The home of US Central Command, Al-Udeid is vital to the American operations in the region. There are pressures from both US military and Qatar government to make the base a permanent fixture, something the State Department strongly opposes.

Losing the base would be disastrous to Qatar, currently under sanctions from most of its neighbors. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Yemen embargoed the country last year, after accusations of supporting terrorism, something Mr. Trump agrees with. If Americans leave, Qatar will find itself in a very hostile environment, without much to defend itself with. That is why it is most likely to accept sending its soldiers to Syria, despite the reluctance.

Source: telesurtv.net

Trump and Macron Modifying Iran Deal; Iran likely to Refuse

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Donald Trump met with French President Emmanuel Macron, and the US leader described the Iran deal as “insane” and “ridiculous,” and the two leaders came up with the idea to make a new Iran deal. Teheran ruled out the possibility of the new agreement which made Trump and Macron come closer to a side deal between the United States and European countries who signed the Iran deal.

At the press conference, Macron stated: “The discussions we’ve had together make it possible to open the way, to pave the way for a new agreement.” He added that the new deal would stop Iran in their intentions to further develop their ballistic missiles, but it will also reduce the country’s influence in Lebanon, Yemen, Syria and some other states in the Middle East.

“I think we will have a great shot at doing a much bigger maybe-deal, maybe-not-deal,” Trump added. “We’re going to find out, but we’ll know fairly soon.”

We are not sure what the new deal is going to be about. What are the changes Trump mentions? Are those changes big? Currently, media is left in the dark regarding the new deal, and so far, Trump has consulted only with the European signatories such as Germany, France, and Britain. The diplomats have a task to fix this agreement and Trump gave them a deadline – May 12. If the deal is not fixed by then, the US would re-impose sanctions on Iran, which could endanger the stability in the region, break the current agreement, and cause Iran to step out of the deal.

What does Trump Demand?

Source:nationalreview.com

Donald Trump waived the sanctions in January 2018, but some of this will automatically be enforced on May 12 if the new agreement isn’t signed. He warned everyone involved that this would be the last time he waived the sanctions and they need to come to an agreement in this period. In the statement, Trump warned: “Either fix the deal’s disastrous flaws, or the United States will withdraw. This is a last chance.”

According to the US president, the European allies need to agree to sanctions of Iran’s nuclear program, and they have to ramp up inspections of all Iranian sites. Furthermore, the expiration dates are to be eliminated for the limits on Iran’s enrichment levels and “In the absence of such an agreement, the United States will not again waive sanctions in order to stay in the Iran nuclear deal. And if at any time I judge that such an agreement is not within reach, I will withdraw from the deal immediately,” Trump said. “No one should doubt my word.”

US and Europe talks

The negotiations of the side agreement are happening at the moment, and the diplomats from Britain, Germany, and France have visited the US to discuss the matter. So far the European leaders have met with the US on three occasions, and they have had several discussions via teleconference.

Source:politico.com

America is represented by the State Department’s policy planning director Brian Hook, however, it is still “too early to tell” whether side deal will be penned. So far the two sides have agreed on ballistic missiles and inspections, but they are still arguing when it comes to the expiration dates. On top of that, we need to point out that all of the EU countries need to agree with the new agreement in order for the EU sanctions to go on, but at this point, Italy is the most skeptical and they may veto the proposal. Meanwhile, a senior State Department official said: “The President will be presented with a range of options so that he can make a decision.”

What is the next step?

On Tuesday, Trump said: “Nobody knows what I’m going to do on the 12th,” In the meantime, he told Macron: “Although, Mr. President, you have a pretty good idea,” right after that Macron stated: “I do not know what President Trump will decide regarding the JCPOA,” JCPOA standing for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action also known as the Iran Deal.

Trump apparently wants to get rid of the old deal entirely because of its “decayed foundation” and not just modify it. He added: “We’ll see also if I do what some people expect, whether or not it will be possible to do a new deal with solid foundations.”

What is Iran’s Response?

Source:timesofisrael.com

Iran has already mentioned repeatedly that they don’t want a new deal. Their Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said: “You reach an agreement, you keep that agreement, you implement that agreement. You don’t ask for more.” He also added: “Obviously the rest of the world cannot ask us to unilaterally and one-sidedly implement a deal that has already been broken.” Zarif also pointed out that the nuclear weapon is not what Iran is pursuing with the nuclear program.

Meanwhile, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned: “I am telling those in the White House that if they do not live up to their commitments, the Iranian government will firmly react.”

Source: abcnews.go.com

Donald Trump Says Kim Jong-Un is “Very Honorable”

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Before the meeting between US president Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, Trump has come to some conclusions. He has said that Kim has been “very open” and “very honorable,” which is quite a different assessment of what he used to say in the past. Just as a reminder, Trump called Kim “Little Rocket Man.”

The summit between the two countries will be held in May or June, and the leaders are going to discuss Pyongyang’s nuclear program. So far, Trump has been optimistic about the meeting, and he has said that the two sides were having “good discussions.” At the White House, with French President Emmanuel Macron by his side, Trump has stated: “We have been told directly that they would like to have the meeting as soon as possible. We think that’s a great thing for the world. Kim Jong Un, he really has been very open and I think very honorable from everything we’re seeing.”

Source:news.com.au

However, Trump is not entering the talks without caution. He pointed out that North Korea hasn’t fulfilled previous promises, but he has acknowledged the fact that Pyongyang is forced to organize such a summit thanks to his administration and pressure put by the United States allies as well as sanctions imposed on North Korea. As for the outcome of the meeting, Trump said: “We’ll see where that all goes. Maybe it will be wonderful or maybe it won’t.”

On Saturday, North Korea confirmed that they were willing to close the nuclear testing facility and stop with the intercontinental ballistic missile tests, which is something Donald Trump approves of and considers it to be “big progress.” Even though they are willing to stop the testing, North Korea will not get rid of their nuclear weapons. The term ‘denuclearization’ means different for the two leaders, but Trump clarified what it meant to him. He said: “It means they get rid of their nukes. Very simple.” He also added: “It would be easy for me to make a simple deal and declare victory. I don’t want to do that.”

Later this week, the meeting between Moon Jae-in, South Korean president and Kim Jong-Un will be held in the Demilitarized Zone on the border between the two Koreas. After that, allied South Korea will talk with the US to discuss what has been said on the inter-Korea meeting and this can lay grounds for the main summit which will take place at the end of May or at the beginning of June. The last time the US leaders met with North Korea officials was at the end of Korean War, which is why this summit is of utmost importance.

Source:abc.net.au

Meanwhile, Trump’s administration plans to nominate Adm. Harry Harris, current commander of US forces in the Pacific as ambassador to South Korea. This position needs to be filled in quickly, especially since it has been empty ever since Trump took office. However, Harris has already been nominated to be ambassador to Australia, but his Senate confirmation hearing has been postponed. Both South Korea and Australia have been informed that Harris may be repositioned, but nothing has been official yet, and we are waiting for the new facts to emerge. This information comes from one of the congressional aides who insisted on staying anonymous since they had no authority to make comments on the matter.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo who is favored by Trump as the next Secretary of State also spoke of the matter. He said that the vacant spot needed “immediate attention.” As for Harris, he has been in uniform for almost four decades, and he is considered to be very candid. Although Trump is quite optimistic about the meeting between the US and North Korea, Harris could not be “overly optimistic” about the outcome, and he said: “We have to go into this, eyes wide open.”

Source: brownsvilleherald.com

Can Trump Make France Great Again

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The bromance between Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron has been featuring on the cover of the world’s press for months now. The ongoing state visit by the French President to Washington has only served as a reminder of just how awkward the relationship between 40-years old Macron and 71-years old Trump is.

President Trump had a time of his life during his state visit to Paris last year. President Macron treated him with every honor and provided him with a front row seat to watch an impressive military parade for the Bastille Day. Mr. Trumps stay in France was crowned with a dinner Macrons hosted in the Eiffel tower. Sources close to the White House say that both the President and the First Lady are eager to return the favor to Mr. and Mrs. Macron by being hosts in Mount Vernon. Unfortunately, the military parade won’t take place, but certainly not for lack of trying.

Source:eater.com

President Macron arrives in Washington with a difficult mission. Almost every other European leader is appalled by Mr. Trump and is actively trying to avoid him. Macron, often described as the ultimate pragmatists, doesn’t have such problems.

“I’m here to deal with the President of the United States and people of the United States elected Donald Trump,” he said for Fox News.
His aim is twofold: to prevent Mr. Trump from backing out of the Iranian Deal and to convince him to revert his decision on troop withdrawal from Syria. Both objectives are quite important and hard to achieve, and it will take all of President Macron’s “Trump Whisperer” magic to accomplish them.

On the other hand, President Trump possible has an even harder task. In order to maintain his relationship with Macron, he will have to make some concessions. The trouble is that both issues are something he has been quite vocal in the past and explaining to his supporters why he let a French president to corner him into accepting his demands will be unpleasant, to say the least.

Source:sputniknews.com

But Macron has other aces up his sleeves, apart from his charm. Despite all American might, Washington still needs allies, especially in Europe, where there seems to be a short supply of them at the moment. France brings a lot to the table, being one of the few NATO and EU countries which are fully functional, with a capable army able to project power, and a political will to demonstrate it. It is also a member f the UN Security Council. The current situation plays heavily in Paris’ favor, as the traditional American allies seem either unable or unwilling to continue their cordial relationships with Washington.

The UK is overwhelmed with Brexit and Trump is so unpopular in Britain that he still hasn’t accepted the Queen’s invitation to visit. Angela Merkel, on the other hand, doesn’t really hide her disdain for the American President and his brush ways, an emotion that will be answered on Friday when she visits Washington. Unlike Macron, Merkel won’t be attending private dinners with the First Couple or any other honorifics Trump lavished on Macron.

Source: edition.cnn.com