U.S. and European Leaders Condemn Trump in Joint Statement

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Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) on Monday issued a joint statement with his counterparts from several European allies condemning both President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northeast Syria and the Turkish government’s subsequent military operation in the region.

“We, the chairs of the Foreign Affairs Committees of the Parliaments of Germany, France, the United Kingdom, the European Parliament and the House of Representatives of the United States of America, jointly condemn in the strongest terms the Turkish military offensive in northeastern Syria,” the statement said. “We consider the intrusion as a military aggression and a violation of international law. The Turkish offensive is causing suffering for the local people who are forced to flee and a further instability in Syria and the neighboring region. We consider the abandonment of the Syrian Kurds to be wrong.”

A joint statement in conjunction with foreign leaders is a rare occurrence, and lands amid bi-partisan criticism of Trump’s decision to abandon the America’s Kurdish allies. The statement was co-signed by chairman of the U.K. House of Commons Committee on Foreign Affairs Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs David McAllister, chairman of the German Bundestag Committee on Foreign Affairs Norbert Rottgen, and Marielle de Sarnez, the chairwoman of the French National Assembly Committee on Foreign Affairs.

“This horrible war touches and affects the peoples of our countries in such an enormous way. For that reason, we, as members of our parliaments, feel compelled to making our common position clear. We unite across parties and nationalities to demonstrate our commitment to our common values, responsibility and interests,” the statement concluded.

President Trump defended the troop withdrawal during a cabinet meeting in front of reporters at the White House earlier Monday, saying he never agreed to protect the Kurds indefinitely.

We never agreed to protect the Kurds for the rest of their lives,” Trump said. “We have a good relationship with the Kurds, but we never agreed to protect the Kurds. We have supported them for three and half to four years. We never agreed to protect the Kurds for the rest of their lives.”

During his extensive remarks, President Trump also called the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution “phony,” just two days after going back on his decision to hold the 2020 G-7 summit at his Miami golf resort.

[image via Drew Angerer/Getty Images]





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