EU hesitates to take Trump on his word after sudden turnaround

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The European Union on Friday hesitated to lap up US President Donald Trump’s sudden turnaround from his previous position towards the bloc.

In an interview with Reuters on Thursday, Trump voiced his support for the EU, saying he is “totally in favour of” the EU.

“I think it’s wonderful. If they’re happy, I’m in favour of it,” said Trump, days after US Vice President Mike Pence paid his first diplomatic visit to Brussels.

The remarks were in stark contrast to Trump’s erstwhile disdain towards the 28-nation bloc, including dubbing the EU as a ” vehicle for Germany” and hailing the Brexit as a great thing. Trump even predicted that other countries would follow Britain’s lead in leaving the EU.

Asked by a reporter in a press briefing, an European Commission spokesperson said:” We are interested to see what he said.”

“You will wait further before we take a position.” the spokesperson added.

Pence on Monday reaffirmed “strong commitment” to the EU, in a bid to allay the bloc’s doubts on the new US administration’s stance towards it.

European Council President Donald Tusk said he raised “three key matters,” namely international order, security and the attitude of the new US administration towards the European Union, during his meeting with Pence, and got all positive answers from his guest.