Trump, Pompeo's Europe trips show widening gap between Atlantic

Source:Xinhua Published: 2019/6/7 21:36:03

During their respective European trips in recent days, US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hoped to persuade the allies to follow US policies on a series of international issues, but they have been told that Europeans have their own opinions quite different from that of Washington.

From Iran nuclear issue, 5G network to trade issues, European countries and the public are critical over US unilateral stance and its pressure to push Europe to follow suit, which showed a widening transatlantic gap and that the traditional friendship is facing test.


Trump's visit to Britain was a chance to show the special relations between Washington and London, according to US officials' briefing before the trip. However, at the joint press conference with Trump, British Prime Minister Theresa May said despite special relations, the two sides had differences on climate change, Iran nuclear issue and other issues.

At the joint press conference with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, Pompeo said it was risky to allow the Chinese telecom giant Huawei to build infrastructure for 5G networks, Maas said that Germany had "high security standards."

Any company found not to comply with these standards would be excluded from bidding to build Germany's 5G network, Maas said without naming Huawei.

While on Iran nuclear issue, Pompeo told reporters that he hoped Germany to do more. But Maas said that Germany had "the same goals" but "different approaches" from the United States.

Together with France and Britain, Germany is trying to rescue the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, while Washington unilaterally quit the agreement and is putting pressure on Tehran through economic sanctions.

The differences were also exposed during Pompeo's trip to the Netherlands. He said the United States is to introduce tariff increases such as in the case of China in order to enforce a level playing field.

However, after the joint press conference with Pompeo, Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok said "That is a point we cannot agree on," referring to the increase of additional trade tariffs.

Blok said the Netherlands absolutely believed in free trade. As a large trading country, the Netherlands believed that trade tariffs are ultimately bad for jobs, for all entrepreneurs here.

In terms of Huawei, Pompeo hoped its allies to take the same policy with the United States, while Blok said the Netherlands was not that far.


Trump and Pompeo's visits were also criticized by local media and the public.

The royal pageantry that Britain offered to Trump is largely part of the state visit ritual, but Trump's meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the sidelines of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day in Portsmouth on Wednesday narrated a real picture.

The video of the meeting showed a frosty start. Even the usual handshaking for photographers at the beginning did not exist. The two leaders had no physical contact at all.

"Short and chilly," lamented the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, adding that "the short meeting showed again, that there is probably no more friendship between them."

Germany's Bild Newspaper reported that the friendship of the two countries is in difficulty. See Merkel's meeting with Pompeo: Merkel emphasized that "the United States is and will remain Germany's closest partner" -- "outside Europe", while Pompeo came up with just one phrase: "Germany is an important US ally." Emphasis on "one."

Trump's visit to Britain triggered large protest in London, in which Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and other politicians also took part. Protesters unfurled a series of 20-meter-long banners opposite the US Embassy and on Vauxhall Bridge over the River Thames with messages aimed at Trump.

"President Donald Trump is doing 'immense damage' to Washington's most important alliances," political scientist Brian Klaas from the University College London said on Twitter.

Former French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin told a French TV on Thursday that the United States was France's ally in the past, but not necessarily in the future. The United States is no longer France's ally at present.


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