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EU’s Tusk’s riposte to Trump: respect the allies you have

BRUSSELS: European Council President Donald Tusk told US President Donald Trump on Tuesday to stop berating NATO allies over military investment levels, on the eve of an alliance summit. “Dear America, appreciate your allies, after all you don’t have that many,” Tusk, a former Polish premier, said after a signing statement on cooperation between the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. Earlier, "Europe is possibly as bad as China on trade," US President Donald…

US commerce secretary to press China to buy as allies seethe over tariffs

BEIJING: US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross arrived in Beijing on Saturday aiming to secure more Chinese purchases of US goods and energy, days after Washington intensified pressure in its dispute with China and infuriated allies with tariffs on metals. Ross did not speak to reporters at his Beijing hotel on Saturday afternoon. He was scheduled to have dinner on Saturday with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, Beijing’s lead negotiator in the trade dispute, at the Diaoyutai State Guest House, a US official said. The two were…

U.S. allies hit back at Washington’s steel, aluminum tariffs

WASHINGTON/PARIS: Canada and Mexico retaliated against the U.S. decision on Thursday to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports and the European Union had its own reprisals ready to go, reigniting investor fears of a global trade war. The tariffs, announced by U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in a telephone briefing on Thursday, ended months of uncertainty about potential exemptions and suggested a hardening of the Trump administration’s approach to trade negotiations. The measures, touted by President Donald…

Allies keep Syria options open as Britain says no strikes planned

LONDON/DAMASCUS: Western powers have no plans for further missile strikes on Syria but will assess their options if Damascus uses chemical weapons again, Britain’s foreign minister said on Sunday as debate raged over the legality and effectiveness of the raids. US, French and British missile attacks struck at the heart of Syria’s chemical weapons program on Saturday in retaliation for a suspected poison gas attack a week ago, and the three countries insisted they were not aimed at toppling President Bashar al-Assad or…

Trump to boost exports of lethal drones to more US allies

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump will soon make it easier to export some types of lethal US-made drones to potentially dozens more allies and partners, according to people familiar with the plan. Trump is expected to ease rules for such foreign sales under a long-delayed new policy on unmanned military aircraft due to be rolled out as early as this month, the first phase of a broader overhaul of arms export regulations. US drone manufacturers, facing growing competition overseas especially from Chinese and Israeli…

Saudi Arabian oil minister hopes OPEC, allies can ease output curbs in 2019

NEW DELHI: Saudi Arabia hopes OPEC and its allies will be able to relax production curbs next year and create a permanent framework to stabilise oil markets after the current supply cut deal ends this year, its oil minister said on Saturday. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is reducing output by about 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) as part of a deal with Russia and other non-OPEC producers. The pact, aimed at propping oil prices, began in January 2017 and will run until the end of 2018.…

US allies fret as ‘guillotine’ hangs over Tillerson

BRUSSELS/BERLIN: On the eve of his trip to Europe, Rex Tillerson gave a speech last week that European allies had waited months to hear: an “ironclad” promise of U.S. support to its oldest allies. The relief in European capitals lasted barely a day as reports surfaced of a White House plan to oust the U.S. secretary of state, plunging America’s friends back into confusion over President Donald Trump’s foreign policy. The uncertainty is particularly acute given Washington’s leading role in crises in North Korea and…

Trump trip leaves US and allies lost in translation

WASHINGTON: Donald Trump’s first trip overseas was supposed to be about building bridges and clarifying his administration’s intentions to friends and foes alike. But the US president heads for home Sunday with some of Washington’s allies as bewildered as ever by the billionaire tycoon’s abrasive, unpredictable style and the substance of his policy plans. Trip stops in Saudi Arabia and Israel and the Palestinian territories secured broadly favourable coverage with Trump seen by some commentators as having finally hit a…

US, allies weigh options after North Korea’s missile test: adviser

WASHINGTON/PYONGYANG: The United States, its allies and China are working together on a range of responses to North Korea's latest attempted ballistic missile test, US President Donald Trump's national security adviser said on Sunday, citing what he called an international consensus to act. "We are working together with our allies and partners and with the Chinese leadership to develop a range of options," national security adviser H.R. McMaster said on ABC's "This Week" program. "This latest missile test just fits into…

NATO allies lock in US support for stand-off with Russia

ZAGAN, POLAND/RUKLA, LITHUANIA: Immediately after Donald Trump was elected, US diplomats urged Lithuania to rush through an agreement to keep American troops on its soil, reflecting alarm that the new, Russia-friendly US president might try to stop more deployments in Europe. The agreement was signed just a few days before Trump's inauguration, according to a document from the Lithuanian defense ministry, and became the first step locking the new US president into a NATO strategy to deter Russia in Poland and the Baltics,…