Luxembourg leader urges Trump to value EU relations more

AP News
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Posted: Mar 24, 2017 3:04 PM
Luxembourg leader urges Trump to value EU relations more

ROME (AP) — The leader of European Union founding nation Luxembourg warned U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday that if he turns a cold shoulder on the EU it will be "a lose-lose situation" for both sides of the Atlantic.

Trump over the past months has angered EU leaders with his public support for the British Brexit decision to leave the EU, for showing no interest in pushing negotiations for the trans-Atlantic trade agreement with the bloc and for favoring bilateral relations.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel said "Mr. Trump will learn very fast that the EU is not a bunch of 27 grocery shops, where you knock at the door and start doing business."

"Instead, it is something grand, if we stick together and continue to act together," Bettel said.

Bettel was in Rome with the other EU leaders — minus British Prime Minister Theresa May — to mark Saturday's 60th anniversary of the bloc, which is in crisis because of Britain's impending departure.

Despite the difficult relations, the White House on Friday congratulated the EU, saying "Our two continents share the same values and, above all, the same commitment to promote peace and prosperity through freedom, democracy, and the rule of law."

"Together we look forward to another sixty years and more of shared security and shared prosperity," the statement said.

For Bettel, it is only normal that Trump would reach out to Brussels.

"We perhaps need Europe, but he too needs Europe. So it is a two-way street," he said. "If he thinks he doesn't need Europe, it is a lose-lose situation. But is now important for everyone to go for a win-win situation."