A crucial week to try to disperse the transatlantic divisions

An important diplomatic week opens on Monday between the United States and the European Union in an effort to resolve the many disputes that have gathered since Donald Trump’s arrival in power.

The tough issues that divide US-Europe relations have accumulated over the months, but the EU intends to put its disputes with Washington on the table during a video conference on Monday, June 15, between Secretary of State MikePompeo and Ministers. all challenges facing Europeans and Americans have converging views and different positions, “emphasized a highly-ranked European diplomat.

Talks will continue on Thursday with US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper at NATO. In summary, this week promises to be “an important moment for the transatlantic relationship”.

Divide and rule

The deviation points relate to aggressiveness in relation to China, the tensions caused in the Middle East by US support for annexation of Israel policy, the withdrawal of the United States from the World Health Organization the subject of disputes requiring a sincere explanation.

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In all these disagreements, the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell multiplied the condemnations, the warnings of the United States. However, the Spanish official cannot hide the divisions between the states of the European Union. Many of his statements are not on behalf of the EU because they are not supported by all 27. A weakness that the United States and China never fail to highlight in order to better cleave, a diplomat admits.

The withdrawal of American troops from the world

In addition to the departments, there are problems with the Europeans strategy. “The European Union is still an actor in search of identity. It doesn’t know what role it wants to play,” congratulates Josep Borrell. Jean-Yves Le Drian, “Europe must invent a third way, consisting of firmness in the defense of our interests and basic principles, and openness to a truly multilateral dialogue. A third way that is neither war cold nor naive selflessness.”

This strategy is still being discussed. And each of Donald Trump’s speeches and interventions still leaves the 27 a little more cautious. In Madrid and Berlin we wonder about the reality of the American friend’s umbrella that the countries of the East continue with In Berlin, the decision to withdraw some of the US troops stationed in Germany the effect of a cold shower in the country. The head of the German diplomacy HeikoMaas talked about a blow to German-American relations and a potential security risk. Pentagon boss MarkEsper will need to calm down on Thursday during the video conference between NATO’s defense ministers.

Withdrawal from Germany, Withdrawal from Afghanistan, Withdrawal from Iraq The American liberation is not a surprise to some allies. “Donald Trump is reviewing all US military engagements around the world to look for where he can lose himself,” said a Western diplomat on condition of anonymity.

Indispensable American support

Each time the US withdrew, NATO took over with a large component of US troops and resources, and the other allies were asked to step up. But for Paris and Berlin “there is no question of increasing Germany’s commitment to replace US troops,” Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, German defense minister, warned in February at the last physical ministerial meeting at the Alliance’s headquarters.

Germany’s decoupling is being analyzed as a coup by Donald Trump during the election period. This announcement, contrary to what some hope, will not accelerate Defense Europe, says Judy Dempsey of Carnegie Europe.

Anyway, no one is interested in falling out with Washington. “There is currently no credible alternative to NATO unless Europeans are willing to pay more for security,” admits an Alliance’s European diplomat, and Europe still needs the United States. Washington militarily assists the French forces in the Sahel and influences Turkey, one of the actors in the Libyan conflict in which the United States “was a little involved,” emphasizes the highest diplomat in Brussels.

With AFP